Arsenal next six Premier League games compared to Man City and Liverpool after losing to Aston Villa

Arsenal missed a huge chance against Aston Villa -Credit: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

A familiar feeling crept around the Emirates Stadium at the end of the first half against Aston Villa. That elusive atmosphere thing continued after the break. It is not the first time this season that this has been clear. The result that followed carried with it unfortunate shadows of the title’s collapse twelve months ago.

Arsenal failed to convert several huge chances to take the lead and as the match progressed the effect of drifting things away was amplified. Emi Martinez threw himself in front of the shots, Kai Havertz fired his attempts at visiting bodies, and no trick from Martin Odegaard could unlock the defense.

After Liverpool threw the title race wide open – just seven days after the last time they relinquished control of their own destiny – Mikel Arteta’s side failed to capitalize. Second-half goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins undermined Arsenal’s hopes of a first championship in 20 years on a weekend that seemed to be opening up for them.

Earlier on Sunday, Liverpool achieved a result and a performance that will have been far too scary for Arsenal themselves. Liverpool dominated for large periods in the second 45 at Anfield and suffered a poor finish as a result of dropping yet more points in a disastrous week for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Chances were missed, there was heroic defending against unlikely Palace sources, and frustration was evident throughout much of a disjointed, if not hapless, display. All the while, Manchester City and Pep Guardiola were laughing.

There was a period on Saturday afternoon when it looked like Luton Town might win the title race. Even after an early goal for the champions, Rob Edwards’ side were resilient enough to keep the difference at one as nerves mounted at the Etihad Stadium.

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Ultimately, it was the procession that the statistics and the flow of the game, and the logic, dictated that this would happen. They now have a two-point lead over Arsenal and Liverpool going into the last six games, and the feeling of ‘here we go again’ has grown even further.

There’s still the potential for more twists and turns, but having gone into the weekend with the title in their own hands, Arsenal are once again at the mercy of the champions. Here, analyzes the last month of the season with Arsenal’s remaining matches.

Wolves (A) – Saturday April 20

Arsenal will either have to bask in the ecstasy of reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League or quickly respond to the disappointment of missing out when they travel to Wolves just three days after being in Munich for the second leg against the injured Bayern. They learned on Sunday afternoon about the fate that awaited them: Bayer Leverkusen would win the Bundesliga and end their decade-long dominance.

Gary O’Neill’s side may be the last side they would want in this scenario. Although there is very little to play for, Wolves are the ultimate banana peel and have been a major problem for the top sides all season. A disappointing draw against Nottingham Forest, and not in the best of form, means Wolves won’t be in the mix here, but do they have the bite to do Arsenal damage?

Chelsea (H) – Tuesday April 23

Chelsea certainly have the quality, but they have been known to surrender rather meekly at times this season. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have ambitions of reaching Europe this season but have not shown the kind of consistency required to do so. Either way, they will be some sort of threat at the Emirates Stadium.

Twelve months ago the Gunners ran over their London rivals in similar circumstances, but they cannot expect it to be so one-sided this time. The Blues have weapons to hurt Arteta and have shown the danger by already taking points from Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool.

Tottenham (A) – Sunday April 28

If the North London Derby earlier this season, with Spurs at the top and Arsenal part of an impressive chasing pack, was good, this has every chance of being that much better. Ange Postecoglou’s men are still well in the mix to finish in the top four – although their grip on the Champions League places has waned – and will be in the mood to spoil Arsenal’s season too.

On paper, this could be one of the best meetings between the two sides in some time. Every recent clash has weighed so heavily on the shoulders and the same applies here. Brace yourself for this one.

Bournemouth (H) – Saturday May 4

Perhaps the easiest game Arsenal have yet. Bournemouth may have just shown Manchester United why they shouldn’t be underestimated, but for a home game in the build-up this is about as nice as it gets. The Cherries also have little to play for other than pride and may well be ‘on the beach’ at this stage.

Dominic Solanke is an obvious concern and there are some quick wingers to watch out for, but Arsenal have far too much on paper. There is clearly extra danger in the last three games of the season. Bypass the nervous tension during the game and Arsenal couldn’t ask for much else.

Manchester United (A) – Sunday May 12

If Bournemouth is meant to be a simple game, then going to Old Trafford should be even easier. Manchester United are a mess, they regularly (almost always) concede 20 shots on target and rely on nothing sustainable to get their points. However, there is something about title deciders between these two.

Can Erik ten Hag wake up his troops? Probably not. United have been fundamentally flawed in every aspect for most of this season and have not put up much of a fight despite their position in the league. Liverpool have shown that it is never easy, even if the match against the Red Devils is completely under control, Arsenal cannot afford to make the same mistake.

Everton (H) – Sunday May 19.

And then it was one. We don’t know what state the rankings will be in on matchday 38, it could be all to play for or already completed. Either way, Arsenal don’t know the feeling of leaving this deep into one season for over twenty years.

Everton may have relegation in mind again, which would add an extra factor on what is always a nerve-wracking day with silverware and status on the line. If it all somehow comes down to this, good luck to anyone experiencing this.

Liverpool next six games

Fulham (A) – Sunday April 21

Everton (A) – Wednesday April 24

West Ham (A) – Saturday April 27

Tottenham (H) – Sunday May 5

Aston Villa (A) – Monday May 13

Wolves (H) – Sunday May 19.

Manchester City next six games

Brighton (A) – Thursday April 25

Nottingham Forest (A) – Sunday April 28

Wolves (H) – Saturday May 4

Fulham (A) – Saturday May 11

Tottenham (A) – Tuesday, May 14

West Ham (H) – Sunday 19 May.

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