Mikel Arteta: Man City could help Arsenal’s title push – manager

Media playback is not supported on this device I’m a winner – Arteta

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Manchester City’s title challenge could help the Gunners, after them demolishing Bournemouth.

The Gunners, who beat the Cherries 4-0 at the Emirates on Wednesday, are third and have 20 points behind leaders Manchester City.

Second-placed Liverpool will be Arsenal’s hosts in a weekend fixture that will be key to their top-four ambitions.

“It is very important to stay in the race,” said Arsenal’s former City midfielder Mikel Arteta.

“We will now prepare and beat Liverpool with a big pressure because we want to go up to that top spot. We know they are coming strong – they are at home, they are strong, they are growing.”

It was a sorry night for Bournemouth, who managed only a blank from their first 17 shots and eventually conceded all four goals as Arsenal dominated with each attack.

Arsenal took the lead when Arteta’s half-volley gave Cherries goalkeeper Asmir Begovic no chance.

Arsenal’s Theo Walcott struck twice to ease pressure on Arsene Wenger’s side.

Danny Welbeck struck twice to help Arsenal to a deserved win before Olivier Giroud slotted the fourth goal late on.

‘Chelsea hot favourites’

Sunday’s game could have an important impact on the Premier League title race.

Liverpool visit third-placed Arsenal and third-placed City, who are on 21 points, travel to Crystal Palace in the early kick-off.

Arsenal are four points behind Liverpool in fourth, five points back from fourth-placed Manchester United.

The game also has major significance for Chelsea, who could go 13 points clear at the top by beating Stoke at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Asked if Arsenal were closing in on the title race, Wenger replied: “Yes, I think we are involved.”

Liverpool sit four points behind Manchester City

Arteta pointed to City’s 8-0 thrashing of Everton last weekend as evidence Arsenal are ready to go all the way.

“I said recently that it was very important to finish in the top four,” said Arteta.

“The power and attitude of that performance, it made me very proud. I would never go and think that a team is worried about finishing in the top four.

“I know Liverpool are favourites, they are three points behind us, but the team and the manager will not go to play that way.

“You will see us fight really hard to get closer to those boys.”

Ancelotti’s future uncertain

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has insisted he will not be distracted by speculation linking him with the Arsenal job.

And while the Blues beat Stoke 2-0 in Tuesday’s Champions League game, a 2-1 home defeat to Wolves in the league meant Chelsea now trail runaway leaders Manchester City by eight points.

Former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is out of contract in December.

“I don’t speak about my future,” he said. “It is clear my players are playing well and we are doing our job.

“We have five games at home. These days are different to other days. We have to focus on the present.”

Thibaut Courtois has been preferred to Asmir Begovic in goal for Chelsea at Arsenal

Signed as back-up to Thibaut Courtois, 35-year-old Begovic made two saves in the first half as Chelsea took the lead after Dan Gosling brought down Diego Costa in the box.

But the Dutch goalkeeper was powerless to stop Costa from hitting an unstoppable volley past Begovic in the second half.

After Costa struck, the Blues continued to press forward and goals from Walcott and Welbeck ensured victory.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said his side were “nearly as bad as we have been all season”.

He added: “When you lose like that, you don’t give anything away, you push and you try to equalise, and you drop into other areas.

“I’m absolutely gutted with that.”

The defeat meant Howe’s team, who had won three in a row, lost ground on fourth-placed Tottenham, who beat Huddersfield 4-0 on Wednesday.

Leave a Comment