Alan Shearer makes Premier League title prediction after dramatic Arsenal win
Alan Shearer has backed Arsenal to see off title rivals Manchester City and become Premier League champions for the first time in almost 20 years after another dramatic weekend at the top of the table.
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Arsenal’s wobble looked set to continue in Birmingham on Saturday as Aston Villa twice took the lead through Ollie Watkins and Phillipe Coutinho.
But Bukayo Saka and Oleksandr Zinchenko scored equalisers before Arsenal found a way past ex-Gunners goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez twice in stoppage time to clinch a dramatic 4-2 win.
Arsenal’s third goal came courtesy of a Martinez own goal – the Argentina World Cup winner helpless to prevent Jorginho’s long-range effort from striking the bar and then rebounding off his head into the net.
With Villa desperately searching for a late equaliser, Martinez then went up for a corner but Arsenal broke through Fabio Vieira and Gabriel Martinelli, the latter tapping into an empty net to secure the victory.
Arsenal’s win took them back to the top of the Premier League but a Manchester City victory at Nottingham Forest later in the day would have reverted the positions.
Pep Guardiola’s side dominated at the City Ground and took the lead on the stroke of half-time through a superb Bernardo Silva strike.
Manchester City wasted numerous chances to put the game to bed before Nottingham Forest substitute Chris Wood finished off a well-worked goal to earn the hosts a point.
Man City’s slip up means Arsenal are two points clear in the title race with a game in hand.
Asked for his prediction on the Premier League title race, Shearer said on BBC’s Match of the Day: ‘I know Thomas Partey is out injury at the moment, but if Arsenal can get him back and then have a little bit of luck between now and the end of the season with keeping their key players fit, I think they will do it, I really do.
‘Based on the second-half, Arsenal deserved the three points today. But they didn’t just get the win, they sent a message out to Manchester City too.
‘Sometimes you just need to find a way to win and they did that in the second-half.
‘When you look back at the game against Man City [Arsenal lost 3-1], they made two huge errors and got punished for them. They missed some big chances as well and that was the difference between the teams.’
Arsenal had lost to Man City and Everton and drawn with Brentford in their previous three games but responded superbly to beat Unai Emery’s Aston Villa.
Following Saturday’s crucial win, Zinchenko told BT Sport: ‘From this game I would like to say two things. First, we took an unbelievable lesson for all of us that we need to believe until the very end.
‘Like I said in the past, this group has such amazing people, can achieve everything they want if we are going to keep fighting and keep believing. The reaction from all of us in the second half is a perfect way to go.
‘We would like to go in the dressing room as soon as possible but there are still a lot of games to play and we just need to keep going, keep fighting and keep believing we can do everything.’
Arsenal travel to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City next weekend, while Manchester City take on RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday.
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