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Arsenal loss against Brighton, Leaving City Needing Only One Win for the Title


Manchester City is close to reclaiming the Premier League after Arsenal's 3-0 home loss to Brighton. Mikel Arteta's veteran players failed to perform under duress in the title chase, according to Gary Neville.

Gary Neville feels Arsenal's veteran players failed to step up after Manchester City's triumph at Everton demoralized them.

Arsenal lost 3-0 at home to Brighton, leaving City needing only one win from their final three matches to retain a title they were favorites to win last month.

Neville thinks City's triumph before Mikel Arteta's team played at the Emirates Stadium affected what happened.

"I just wonder the impact, the more I think about, that this would have had on those Arsenal players' legs," he told The Gary Neville Podcast.

"I think what we witnessed today was an Arsenal team that might have just had their hopes up with Everton after that performance against Brighton, at Goodison Park with City leaving a few men out. Perhaps they felt they could win today.

"When City have won 3-0 that has obviously filtered down to the Arsenal players and had the impact on their legs that sometimes it does. Just deflated.

"Today, I think the reality of City winning at Everton has just hit them like a tonne of bricks."

Some have attributed Arsenal's loss of the advantage to William Saliba's injury. Uncaring Neville.

The title race was too much. Saliba's injury will be mentioned. Sorry, I can't listen. That's unlistenable with 20-odd players.

Liverpool and City have lost players throughout the years. All title contenders are missing players. It would have been unfortunate if five or six players were missing. They've never had that.

Even today, Gabriel Martinelli leaves and Leandro Trossard comes on. Tierney replaces Zinchenko. It's hardly a huge drop. Trossard can play, but Martinelli is superior.

Arsenal struggled and ran out of energy. Energy and mentality were as important as quality today. They just lost their legs.

"City placed them under pressure but City were always going to pinch them. In every title race. First titles are difficult. You're unaware. A struggle. It's arduous.
"I always doubted Arsenal had the experience to get through that. I never believed their experience would help the young players handle the pressure.

"I think Gabriel, [Thomas] Partey, [Granit] Xhaka and a number of others have had their weakest spell of the season. They have lost form and the senior players have not been able to settle the younger players, who were always going to suffer under pressure.

"I've said it for 25 years: the Class of '92 did not win that first league because of them." Roy Keane, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Eric Cantona, and Peter Schmeichel won it.

"That team had a rock-solid spine. They're brick. They're unbreakable. They're fantastic. Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, and Nicky Butt surrounded them. Young players surrounded them.

We were struggling. Legs go. Media reading puts you under strain. Sky Sports is advertising the title race, the run-in, and Super Sunday every 10 seconds, and you think, "That's us!"

"It devours you. You can't avoid it—Arsenal players stroll down the street with Arsenal fans chanting, "You're going to do it!" That's a bombshell.

Experienced players keep still, calm, and help you through tough times. I always doubted that. Arsenal's spine swayed at the worst time. I never thought they could hold together.
They may in the future. Mikel Arteta, a youthful manager, may add players and experience. It's not over.

"But today, I think the hammer blow of the City victory has just hit them, aligned with the most sensational away performance from Brighton."