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FootballMan City title triumph 'feels inevitable' after Liverpool, Arsenal slip-ups – Gary...

Man City title triumph ‘feels inevitable’ after Liverpool, Arsenal slip-ups – Gary Neville

A fourth successive Premier League title for Manchester City “feels inevitable” after Liverpool and Arsenal suffered damaging defeats on Sunday, believes Manchester United great Gary Neville.

City went top of the Premier League table with a 5-1 rout of Luton Town on Saturday, then watched their two closest rivals slip to surprise home losses on a dramatic Sunday.

Liverpool were beaten 1-0 by Crystal Palace as Eberechi Eze hit an Anfield winner, before late goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins handed Aston Villa a 2-0 triumph at Arsenal.

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Those results leave City two points clear of both of their rivals with six games remaining for each team.

Though Pep Guardiola’s men could slip to third this weekend, when their FA Cup semi-final date with Chelsea means they aren’t in league action, Neville feels they are now overwhelming title favourites.

Asked what Sunday’s defeats meant for Liverpool and Arsenal on the Gary Neville Podcast, the former defender said: “It was a really bad day. It can happen, you can lose football matches, but you’re up against perfection.

“When Liverpool had City at Anfield, and when Arsenal had City at a potential weak point in that game at the Etihad, I just feel they needed to win to move the mountain, because you can always lose a game.

“I’m really surprised by Liverpool at home to Palace, I’m really surprised, although they have had a difficult week.

“The game for Arsenal was a lot more difficult and they played with a really good performance level in the first half.

“But it feels a little ominous, it feels a little inevitable that the Manchester City, Pep Guardiola machine rises to the top with a few games left. They are going to be very, very difficult to stop – that’s an understatement.”

Former Arsenal winger Paul Merson said the Gunners’ title challenge was all but over after Sunday’s defeat, but Neville believes they have it in them to respond.

“You have to trust them. They have to call upon last season’s experiences – they weren’t in the Champions League, but they were in this position where they would get beaten in games that they thought they would win,” Neville added.

“They dropped points that people didn’t think they would, and now it is about how you get back on the bike because they are not out of the title race.

“It’s going to be tough because of Manchester City and what they are, but it is how they recover.”

As for Liverpool, Neville believes the Reds have done well to even put themselves in the conversation, given the expectation that this season would be one of transition.

“If you look at Liverpool, no one expected Liverpool to be anywhere near,” Neville said. “If you said that Liverpool would be two points off Manchester City with five or six games left to go [at the start of the season], I’d be like, ‘no chance’.

“This is a monumental achievement I think for Jurgen Klopp, for them to be where they are. I said it before the international break and a few Liverpool fans had a go at me, but I felt like they were hanging on.

“I just felt like they were hanging on for dear life with emotion, with it being Klopp’s last season.

“I still think Jurgen Klopp is getting the very best out of this Liverpool team, and what we are now seeing is probably what they are, and they have overachieved to this point.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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