Thierry Henry reacts to Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat by Man City
Thierry Henry challenges Arsenal's players to show what they're made of after their disappointing 3-1 loss to Man City
Thierry Henry has challenged the Arsenal squad to show they can “respond” after their 3-1 loss to Manchester City on Wednesday night dealt a blow to their title hopes.
The Gunners fell behind in the 24th minute when Kevin De Bruyne capitalised on a loose pass from Takehiro Tomiyasu and looped his finish into the back of the net.
Arsenal drew level before half-time though, when Bukayo Saka converted his penalty after Eddie Nketiah had been brought down by Ederson in the box.
Manchester City had the final say, however, with Jack Grealish firing home in the 72nd minute, before Erling Haaland made it 3-1 to Pep Guardiola’s men with a cool finish 10 minutes later.
The result lifted Manchester City back to the top of the Premier League table. The Citizens are level on points and ahead on goal difference but have played a game more than the Gunners.
Former Arsenal captain Henry now says it’s up to the players to show they are capable of responding after their third straight Premier League game without a win.
“They came to your place and beat you – can you know show that you can respond?” Henry told CBS Sports. “Since the beginning of the season Man City was responding to what you were doing. Now, can you keep your composure?
“Go to Aston Villa [on Saturday] and rectify that straight away at the weekend and show you can be with them all the way and try to do something at their ground, because now it’s going to be very difficult.
“Just stay calm. You lost against a great team today, we mentioned they had [Phil] Foden and [Manuel] Akanji come on – do you have the same bench at Arsenal? I’m not too sure, but keep your composure, you lost that one it doesn’t mean now that everything now has to go in the bin.
“Keep your composure and go and rectify that game against Villa and see what you can do – you still have a game in hand, but now it’s going to be tough though.”
Arsenal can reclaim top spot with a victory against Aston Villa away from home on Saturday lunchtime, with Manchester City travelling to Nottingham Forest later in the day.
And Gunners manager Mikel Arteta admits that his side are facing a “huge battle” as they look to return to winning ways this weekend.
Asked about the title race after Wednesday’s defeat, Arteta told his post-match news conference: “There’s still a huge marathon to go for every single team.
“We have a huge battle now on Saturday again to keep going but the team continues to perform and play this way. We need to improve the efficiency in the box, that’s for sure, we want to get more points.
“The atmosphere right from the beginning was electric, they drove the team. Hopefully we give them hope and joy, but it’s a shame because we really wanted to get the points for them.”