Odegaard admits Arsenal have ‘no hope’ for title

Team captain Martin Odegaard admitted “there is no hope” for Arsenal in the Premier League title race after their challenge suffered a potentially fatal blow with a 3-0 defeat to Brighton on Sunday.

Second-half goals from Julio Enciso, Deniz Undav and Pervis Estupinan gave the visitors a deserved victory at Emirates Stadium as the Gunners struggled to respond to Manchester City‘s win at Everton earlier in the day.

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The result leaves them four points behind City having played a game more. Pep Guardiola’s side will be crowned champions if Arsenal lose at Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening, and Odegaard told Sky Sports: “I think it is going to be very difficult now, to be honest. It is a tough one to take.

“It is not a good feeling at the moment. The way we played especially in the second half, I don’t know what happened, to be honest. A big, big disappointment, and it feels like there is no hope [in the title race] now.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes his team capitulated after going in 0-0 at the break and apologized to supporters, thousands of whom left the ground long before the final whistle.

“A week [ago], I was feeling proud [after beating Newcastle United] and today we have to apologise because the performance we had in the second half was not acceptable,” Arteta said. “We knew the way they play, they made the game really competitive. I think there were 30 fouls in the game.

“Very difficult to get any long sequences of play, to get set in the final third. They had a lot of issues as well; they gave the ball away a lot in their own half, and we could have really capitalised in the first half on six occasions and we didn’t.

“Then we concede a goal when they are really direct in behind and from there the team had no reaction. Obviously when you give the silly goal away, the second one, then the team collapsed and the team had no answers.”

Arteta refused to give up on the title, but warned his players that changes will be made this summer because they are still capable of producing substandard performances.

“Mathematically it is still possible and this is football,” he added. “But today it is impossible to be thinking about it. We have to first digest the result, the performance we had in the second half, understand why and have a very different reaction in the next game.

“You have to have a lot of good things, incredible things to be second in the way we have done it for 10 months, but if the team is able to show that face as well there are things that have to be addressed.”


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