‘Why can’t Arsenal do it?’ – Martin Keown says Gunners can win title but must strike back quickly after Man City setback

Arsenal are still firmly in the Premier League title race, according to Gunners great Martin Keown, but they need to strike back quickly after a damaging midweek defeat to Manchester City.

The Gunners fell to a 3-1 loss against City at the Emirates on Wednesday to surrender top spot in the table on goal difference.

Mikel Arteta’s side have hit a mini-slump recently and headed into Saturday’s early kick-off against Aston Villa without a win in their last four games in all competitions.

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However, three-time Premier League champion Keown believes his former side can turn things around.

“First of all, I think they’ve done magnificently well, when you think where they finished in the table last season,” Keown told BT Sport.

“But it is a chance, isn’t it. You’ll be hurting after that game the other night. It was an exhilarating match to be a part of, but you need to strike back today and it’s the first time to do it.

“Man City will be watching, lots of pats on the back for them. Their manager told us earlier in the season they lack a bit of fire in their belly – they’ve certainly got it now.

“But Arsenal can strike first. Get those winning three points and then City look at you and say ‘ok, we’re genuinely in a race’.

“They go back to the top of the table, and there’s still a game in hand for Arsenal.

“So why can’t Arsenal do it? They play each other again, there’s an awful lot left in the season, let me tell you.”

Former England striker Peter Crouch isn’t so convinced though and said earlier that he doesn’t think Arsenal have the squad depth required to win the title.

Asked if it’s now advantage Man City in the title race, Crouch said: “I think you have to say so, they’ve just got the results over Arsenal in recent games.

“Arsenal are going through their first slump of the season really, we haven’t seen them have any bad spell so we’re going to see how they react.

“I think today is so important for the title race. If they react well today, Arsenal are back in it.”

City and Arsenal entered the weekend locked on 51 points and although Pep Guardiola’s side were +10 better off on goal difference, the Gunners had a game in hand.

Arsenal’s trip to Villa was the 12.30pm kick-off and will be followed by Manchester City visiting Nottingham Forest at 3.00pm.

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