The Title Race Twists Again

Will their wait go on? Arsenal succumbed to a 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford against Man Utd earlier today, putting them five points behind leaders Leicester with the same number of games played. Having won their previous league fixture (against Leicester), Arsenal might have been expected to gain momentum, but a 0-0 draw in the FA Cup with Championship side Hull, a 2-0 home defeat against Barcelona in the Champions League and now a loss against one of the most average Manchester United sides of modern times will have surely stalled that momentum.

With a potentially painful trip to the Nou Camp looming for the Gunners (the only saving grace they can take from it will be fewer fixtures) and a Cup replay they could frankly do without, Arsenal need to rebound quickly and find form.

They will be doubly sore after their north London rivals Spurs won against Swansea at White Hart Lane, to move three points clear of the Gunners. Tottenham have been quietly impressive all season, and they are only two points behind Leicester as the title race enters its sharp final phase. Spurs haven’t finished ahead of Arsenal since 1995, but they may yet do so – and do so by winning the league title.

Like Leicester’s underwhelming but ultimately victorious performance yesterday, Tottenham showed champion qualities when they battled back from going behind against a stubborn Swansea side that frustrated them in the first half. In years gone by Spurs might well have lost today – instead they were tenacious and didn’t stop pushing, taking a vital win.

Tottenham are, like Arsenal and Man City, still involved in European football, so face more fixtures than Leicester (at least in the short-term), but their steady displays should give them cause for optimism.

In the absolute short-term, it’s still advantage Leicester.

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