Arsenal: Missed opportunity in title race; Everton could beat Gunners to talented youngster
Arsenal missed out on a great opportunity to move to the top of the table as they lost at Everton, despite taking the lead through an Alexis Sanchez free kick. It was billed as a match that Arsenal needed to win to show that they are true title contenders, but they came up short and provided Chelsea with an opportunity to go six points clear at the top of the table. They had a strong team and will be disappointed with their performance at Goodison Park. It was evident that they missed Shkodran Mustafi and it is imperative that their organisation improves at the weekend as they conceded two soft goals on Tuesday night.
Although Arsenal have a run of winnable fixtures coming up, they must first go to the Etihad Stadium to face one of their biggest rivals at the top of the league. They could go nine points behind the league leaders if they lose against Manchester City and that could provide a challenge too far Arsenal. It is important that they put in a good performance at the weekend to maintain their title challenge. They need to show that they can bounce back from a defeat.
To add insult to injury after their defeat, Chelsea attacker Willian has been talking about the Blues’ recent form and has said that Arsenal are to thank for their improvement. Antonio Conte went through a period of picking up just one point from three matches and that ended with a convincing defeat to Arsenal. Ironically, that victory could have ended their own title challenge as Chelsea have been incredible since that match. They have been on a nine-match winning streak and that could continue further as their upcoming fixtures look winnable.
“That moment against Arsenal was difficult because we lost and we started to think “what do we have to do, what’s going on.
“We changed the system and that helped our football a lot. Our players feel fresher and fitter to play.”
This is not going to be good reading for Arsenal fans, especially coming after their defeat to Everton. However, they can take some confidence from the manner in which Chelsea turned their form around after a defeat. Arsenal need to do something similar after their loss to Everton and have to show that they can bounce back too. They are believed to be the biggest threat to Chelsea and need to prove that over the coming weeks, starting with a good performance against Manchester City.
One transfer line from the Independent is that Arsenal could be set to lose out to Everton in the race for Ademola Lookman. The Toffees are ready to spend up to £11 million on the Charlton attacker as they try and replace Yannick Bolasie, who will be missing for a long time through injury. Arsenal would have seen the young attacker as a player for the future and wouldn’t have been seen as a priority for the coming window.
It will be interesting to see if Arsenal do any business in January as it could provide their title race with positive momentum. Their rivals are all likely to be bringing players in and Arsenal may be forced to match them if they are serious about their title challenge. That said, they will be looking to bring in experienced players that can contribute straight away and add further competition to the squad. Although Lookman is a serious talent and has a lot of potential, he wouldn’t provide anything that Arsenal don’t already have and that is why the club are passing on him at this stage.
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