Gary Neville still not convinced by Arsenal due to Arteta match flaws

Arsenal V Bournemouth: Pictures

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Arsenal must plug their leaky defence if they are to fend off Manchester City for the Premier League title, Gary Neville believes. The Manchester United icon has constantly predicted the Gunners to slip up before the end of the season – and has pointed to their defence as a weakness for Mikel Arteta. 

The North Londoners were forced to come from 2-0 down to beat second-from-bottom Bournemouth on Saturday. Arteta’s side have now conceded 12 goals in their last nine games across all competitions.  

Neville said Arsenal have been their own worst enemy in recent matches and must stop conceding so many goals. The former England defender believed City had the tougher game over the weekend, with Pep Guardiola’s side waltzing to a 2-0 win over Newcastle. 

“I thought City had a more difficult game. They were more likely to drop points in my mind, if anybody – I didn’t think either team would, to be fair,” Neville said. 

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Speaking on the Gary Neville Podcast, he continued: “So City did their job and then you expect Arsenal to go and comfortably win. The fact that they’ve won in that way gives them that extra spirit and extra momentum, because it is a game you’d expect them to win 2-0 or 3-0 just because Bournemouth are second from bottom.

“But they made it really difficult for themselves. They’ve got a real momentum, they’ve got a spirit building, the fans are with them, I would say to them they’ve got to stop conceding goals.

“It sounds like a really simple thing to say but when you concede goals on a run-in it’s really tough and they’ve conceded two against Bournemouth, they’ve conceded against Brentford, they’ve conceded against United, Villa, City. They’ve conceded quite a few goals, I think 11 in the last eight games.

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“So they just need to manage that a little bit because they’ve got 12 games to go now. City still aren’t playing at their fluent best. We’ve got a hell of a title race.”

Reiss Nelson’s stunning 97th-minute winner eventually saw off Bournemouth in a thrilling game at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal are now five points ahead of City at the top of the table with 12 matches remaining. 

Boss Arteta said afterwards: “I do believe in fate. It was an extraordinary day and a beautiful experience at the end. Dramatic but worth living it, because there was the greatest end to it.”

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