Football NewsArsenal Title Race Takes a Twist As They Lose Top Spot
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Arsenal followed Liverpool by slipping up on their patch as Aston Villa’s win allowed Manchester City to go top of the Premier League.

City took advantage of the fact they played first, winning comprehensively to put the pressure on. Liverpool couldn’t respond as Crystal Palace secured a shock win at Anfield. Arsenal were then left knowing their assignment – a win would see them go back to the top.

Instead they, like the Reds before them, were shocked on their patch. Villa have been a problem for the established top six as they look to crash that party themselves. Watkins made the game safe with minutes remaining at the Emirates as the champions watched on knowing they are now exactly where they want to be.

Villa’s win over Arsenal several months ago came at a time when they were flying high, had serious momentum, and were seemingly unbeatable. No one expected them to repeat the trick in north London, but they gave their ambitions a serious boost.

The Midlands outfit produced a stunning away day showing as they gradually grew into the game at the Emirates. Eventually, Bailey came off the bench to score in front of the travelling supporters before Watkins also notched as Emery’s side surged towards the top four – leaving Arsenal with serious work to do – as they looked bit a Champions League outfit.

Emery was deemed surplus to requirements last in 2019 with Arteta tasked with picking up where he left off. Martinez meanwhile, despite helping the Gunners win an FA Cup as the country came out of Covid, was made aware that he wasn’t the team’s No 1.

The goalkeeper headed to Villa Park and was, eventually, joined by Emery. The two have been key in Villa’s rise and were equally responsible for a result that massively dented Arsenal’s hopes of ending a 20- year wait for the title. Emery set his team up excellently, gave them the belief required and Martinez pulled off some stunning saves en route to victory. Both men were moved on by the north Londoners – but certainly made their point.

Throughout the season there’s been talk of fifth getting into the Champions League. But after this week’s results in the various European competitions that prospect now hangs in the balance. UEFA’s coefficient rankings will reward two leagues based on the performances of their teams in Europe.

England are up against Italy and Germany which means either Tottenham or Aston Villa may have to settle for the Europa League – which would be a major blow. The north Londoners were hammered at Newcastle on Sunday, but the Midlands outfit claimed a deserved win. It means they hold an advantage, but the safety net of fifth is looking increasingly precarious.