It’s going to be tight.
That’s how Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger predicts the English Premier League title race will be from now on. This had as much to do with his side’s surprise 2-1 defeat away to Middlesbrough as to their nearest challengers Manchester United and Chelsea’s continuation of good form.
Arsenal suffered their first defeat in the English Premiership this season when they were outmaneuvered by a fighting Middlesbrough team at the Riverside Stadium. That the Gunners missed Cecs Fabregas and Alexander Hleb on Sunday was apparent as a relegation threatened Middlesbrough went 2-0 up at one stage and Tomas Rosicky’s injury minute consolation strike for the Londoners did nothing to heal the wounds.
Arsenal are now just 1 point ahead in pole position and the title race has been thrown wide open. Manchester United are second with a rejuvenated Chelsea is closing on in third, just 3 points off the pace. Arsene Wenger knows that both Manchester United and Chelsea are breathing heavily down their necks and should Liverpool win their game in hand, then even they would be in with a shout.
Thus the best and most entertaining team in the Premiership does not have any room for slip-ups. They take on Steaua Bucharest in the UEFA Champions League in midweek and then confront a fierce London derby with Chelsea at the Emirates Satdium. Arsenal have had a miserable last week having drawn with struggling Newcastle United on Wednesday last.
But Arsenal are always capable of pulling the rabbit out the hat. Next week Manchester United and Liverpool lock horns with each other and Arsenal would be hoping for a draw in that match and win theirs to leap further ahead. Yet as Arsene Wenger says, the title race is indeed going to be a tight affair.