Neville picks out ‘trait’ that Arsenal ‘need to watch’ if they want to win the Premier League title
Gary Neville thinks it will be “very difficult to win a league” if Arsenal continue to give the opposition belief that “they have a chance of scoring”.
The Gunners regained top spot in the Premier League over the weekend after a late equaliser from Chris Wood saw Manchester City drop points at Nottingham Forest in a 1-1 draw.
Arsenal came from behind twice to beat Aston Villa 4-2 on Saturday with Mikel Arteta’s side now two points clear of City with a game in hand.
Despite the positive result on Saturday, Neville thinks it is concerning for Arsenal that they have conceded 12 goals in their last six matches as they look to secure their first Premier League title since 2003-04.
“After the result in mid-week I felt it was critical for Arsenal to win at Aston Villa,” Neville said on his Sky Sports podcast. “For so long that looked in doubt as Villa put in a good performance.
“But it was a really good and important victory for Arsenal in the end. There’s such a long way to go in the title race, it will twist back and forth.
“We’ve got an intriguing title race but it was good for Arsenal because they needed a good weekend after that Man City defeat.
“One thing I would say though is that Arsenal have conceded 12 goals in the last six games. One of the traits of a run-in is if you’re conceding goals and teams think they have a chance of scoring, it’s very difficult to win a league, it really is.
“They just need to watch that. This weekend will give them confidence and if they can get back to some clean sheets that will be really important.
“Conceding goals is something they just need to watch out for because that will make things very difficult for them.”
Arsenal have dropped points to Man City, Brentford and Everton this month and Arteta was pleased to see his side get a much-needed win on Saturday at Villa Park.
“Today I think we can take two big lessons,” Arteta said. “In the first half we did the simple things wrong and in the second half we raised our individual level and did the simple things right.
“We totally merited the win. Psychological it was really tough to get that result against Man City and then less than three days we come to Aston Villa and win which is a difficult thing to do.
“Character, quality and having the right temperament and personality, not throw our toys away, emotionally I think we coped really well.”
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