Premier League: Why Manchester City Will Not Win the Title After Arsenal Draw

Premier League: Why Manchester City Will Not Win the Title After Arsenal Draw

Rene Otinga
updated at April 1, 2024 at 9:39 AM
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  • Manchester City has slipped further behind Liverpool in the Premier League title race
  • Pep Guardiola’s side are being pushed to the limit by the Anfield outfit and Arsenal
  • Several factors are against the Citizens in their bid for a fourth consecutive title

The full-time whistle at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, March 31, confirmed a painful reality check for Manchester City - that they would find it difficult to defend their Premier League title.

A 1-1 draw against fellow title contenders, Arsenal, is not disastrous by any stretch, but City dropped two precious points in the title race, which enabled Liverpool to leapfrog the Gunners to sit at the top, at least for one week.

Man City, Arsenal, Premier League, Title Race, Guardiola, Arteta.
Man City and Arsenal players after the 0-0 Premier League draw on Sunday, March 31. Photo: Robbie Jay Barratt.
Source: Getty Images

That game, labelled as a potential title decider, was drab in all aspects as two masterminds of tactics cancelled each other out for more than 90 minutes.

In the end, Arsenal walked away the happier of the two teams after past struggles at the Etihad including last season, when they suffered a defeat which initiated a spectacular title collapse.

Can Manchester City make history with a record fourth consecutive Premier League title? Sports Brief takes a look at why it will be a tall order for Pep Guardiola.

Why Man City will not win the 2023/24 Premier League

1. Two points off the mark at this stage

We start with the obvious factor - the Citizens are desperately chasing the pack. As mentioned earlier, Guardiola’s side are two points behind the league leaders with nine games of the season to go.

Most of City’s title-winning campaigns have seen the club fight for the title on their own terms but that is not the case after 29 matches this season.

As Bernardo Silva rightfully said after the 0-0 draw against Arsenal, 'It is out of our hands. We have to be realistic'.

2. Two extremely strong competitors

City have had to fend off Liverpool to win the title in recent seasons. This was particularly true in the 2021/22 campaign when they finished just a point above the Reds in the league.

Here is the margin of victories City have achieved to win the league in recent seasons:

  • 2022/23: 5 points above second-placed Arsenal
  • 2021/22: 1 point above second-placed Liverpool
  • 2020/21: 12 points above second-placed Manchester United.

From the above data, Liverpool have been the only real genuine threat to Pep Guardiola’s title ambitions in recent seasons. However, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal machine is well-oiled after years in a rut and they are also strong contenders for the title in the last two campaigns.

City haven’t had to compete for the title with two strong opponents in a while, and the fact that Arsenal and Liverpool are pushing the team to their limits could work against them.

In terms of odds, the chances of Guardiola's team have been slashed to a third from the usual half since there are three genuine contenders.

3. Poor record vs 'Big Six'

One frailty in City’s game has been the performance against the traditional Big Six this season.

According to @OltSports, City has failed to win in seven of the nine matches they have faced against the Big Six. Their only victories have been a double against Manchester United, who are also out of sorts in their own right.

4. History is against them

Only three sides have won the Premier League three times in a row since the league’s inception in 1992, according to Sporting News:

  • Manchester United (1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01)
  • Manchester United (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09)
  • Manchester City (2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23).

City are looking to go the extra mile by setting a new record by becoming the first team to secure four successive titles, but the fact that it has never happened makes it nearly impossible to fathom.

5. Other competitions

Pep Guardiola’s side are still in two major competitions: the FA Cup and the Champions League.

Last season, City held their own to secure a historic treble, but no two campaigns are ever the same.

April is set to be a pivotal month for City, whose grit will be tested to the fullest with an influx of fixtures including a Champions League game against Real Madrid and FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.

6. The Liverpool factor

All factors considered, Liverpool has been the most consistent of the three title contenders this season.

A look at the league table puts into perspective just how good Jurgen Klopp’s side have been this season, as they look to win a second title in four years in the German’s final season in charge.

The Reds have only lost twice this season, compared to the four losses Arsenal have suffered, while Guardiola’s Man City have been beaten three times in the league in 29 games.

Since Jurgen Klopp announced he would leave the club at the end of the season, the Reds have been on overdrive in an open show of determination to give their manager a decent send-off.

In other words, Liverpool’s experience in intense title battles, coupled with their mental grit, makes them the team to beat between now and the end of the season.

Guardiola lauds Gabriel

Elsewhere, Sports Brief also reported on Pep Guardiola’s reactions to Arsenal defender, Gabriel, after a defensive masterclass on Sunday.

He came between a discussion between the Gunners star and Erling Haaland and seemed to laud the Brazilian for keeping the latter at bay.

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Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and TUKO.co.ke.
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