Sam Allardyce names title race ‘lesson’ Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has learned

Mikel Arteta learnt a key ‘lesson’ against Man City on Sunday (Picture: Getty)

Sam Allardyce has named the ‘lesson’ Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has learned in this season’s Premier League title race after their late capitulation last term.

The Gunners were sat top of the table for 248 days in the 2022-23 campaign, the most for a team who failed to land the trophy in the history of the top-flight.

It all started to fall apart towards the end of the season with three successive draws to Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton in April followed up with a 4-1 defeat at Manchester City, who went on to secure their third title in a row.

The north Londoners are hoping for a different outcome this time around, especially after Sunday’s 0-0 draw against Pep Guardiola’s men at the Etihad.

Avoiding defeat to City, coupled with Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Luton Town, has seen Arsenal return to the top of the table ahead of Liverpool.

Allardyce has hailed Arteta for ‘parking a double-decker bus’ against City rather than their 4-1 loss last season in which they tried to go toe-to-toe with them.

‘I have to give Arteta full marks for the way they went about nullifying Manchester City,’ Allardyce told William Hill.

Sam Allardyce has given ‘full marks’ to Mikel Arteta (Picture: Getty)

‘He is there to win the league this time. He blew it last year, he gave it away. I think he has learnt his lesson and is developing as a manager and the new signings have made them better.’

Allardyce did not agree with the assertion that Arsenal’s performance was a ‘masterclass in defending’ – but was impressed with them playing for a point.

‘People are calling Arsenal’s performance at the Etihad a masterclass in defending – it wasn’t,’ he added. ‘Mikel Arteta clearly asked the team simply not to lose.

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‘A point away at Manchester City is valuable and that is what they set out to get. They parked the bus – a double-decker bus at that.

‘Everybody was looking forward to it being an entertaining game and it wasn’t, but I have to say that doesn’t happen very often anymore.

‘There are eight games left now and a lot can still happen before the end of the season.

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‘All three of the teams in the title race will be thinking that they can’t afford to lose a single game between now and the end of the season.

‘They might get away with one draw but I think they’ll have to win seven out of eight.

‘Manchester City this season have been easier to score against than ever before, but if they put that right then I expect them to go on and win the league.’

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