Danny Higginbotham: This will cost Arsenal the title
Danny Higginbotham assesses Arsenal's title hopes after their 2-0 loss to Barcelona last week
Danny Higginbotham believes that Arsenal’s failure to manage games and grind out results when necessary is likely to cause them to miss out on the Premier League title this season.
The north London side have been installed as the favourites to win the top flight crown this season as they prepare for their crunch trip to Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.
Arsenal lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday night despite keeping the visitors at bay until the 71st minute at Emirates Stadium.
And former defender Higginbotham feels that Arsenal’s inability to take a goalless draw as a good result is a warning sign as the Premier League title race hots up.
Writing in his column for the Independent, Higginbotham said: “Barcelona are a brilliant side full of world-class players, but on Tuesday night Arsenal effectively knocked themselves out of the Champions League, and not for the first time.
“This was the fourth year in a row when Arsenal lost their last-16 first leg at home, simply because they were too desperate to win a game they could have drawn. In each of the last three years, a 0-0 at the Emirates, combined with their second leg away result, would have sent them through to the quarter-finals.
“But this Arsenal team do not learn. They are an experienced side, not that you would not know it from how they play: naive, panicky and anxious, especially at home and also when they do not take an early lead. This is more likely than anything else to cost them the Premier League title this season.
“Arsene Wenger’s side go to Manchester United on Sunday and if it is 0-0 at half-time, as it often is at Old Trafford these days, Arsenal must keep their heads, stay calm, and not chase the game so hard they expose themselves to the counter-attack.”
Arsenal head to Old Trafford looking to build on their 2-1 win over Leicester City in the Premier League earlier this month.
The Gunners started the weekend in third and two points behind Leicester.