Gary Neville insists Arsenal have got to stop conceding “goals on a run-in” as they fight Manchester City for the Premier League title.
The Gunners came from two goals down to beat Bournemouth 3-2 on Saturday with Reiss Nelson’s last-gasp strike sealing all three points for Mikel Arteta’s men.
Arsenal have conceded eight goals in their last five matches with two cleans against Leicester and Everton, a 3-1 loss to Man City, a 4-2 win over Aston Villa and the two goals conceded against the Cherries at the weekend.
The goals conceded in the City, Villa and Bournemouth games has former Manchester United defender Neville concerned for their title chances.
Neville told his Sky Sports podcast: “I thought City had a more difficult game. They were more likely to drop points in my mind. I didn’t think either team would to be fair.
“So City did their job and then you expect Arsenal to go and comfortably win. The fact that they’ve won in that way gives them that extra spirit and extra momentum, because it is a game you’d expect them to win 2-0 or 3-0 just because Bournemouth are second from bottom.
“But they made it really difficult for themselves. They’ve got a real momentum, there’s a spirit building, the fans are with them, I would say to them they’ve got to stop conceding goals.
“It sounds like a really simple thing to say but when you concede goals on a run-in it’s really tough and they’ve conceded two against Bournemouth, they’ve conceded against Brentford, they’ve conceded against United, Villa, City. They’ve conceded quite a few goals, I think 11 in the last eight games.
“So they just need to manage that a little bit because I think they’ve got 12 games to go now. City still aren’t playing at their fluent best. We’ve got a hell of a title race.”
Asked if he now thinks Arsenal will beat Man City to the title, Neville added: “No, I made my prediction at the start of the season and I’m not going to change my opinion of Manchester City.
“The reason I’ve not turned on Jurgen Klopp is because what you do over a period of five or six years you build up a trust and you earn the right to be thought of in a way that you’re a winner and you don’t write him off. I would never write off a Jurgen Klopp team and say that’s him done at Liverpool, he’s finished.
“Arsenal haven’t proven to me that they can handle the last 10 games of a run-in. They haven’t proven that to me. And when they do, I’ll take my hat off to them and say congratulations.
“But I’m not going to change it because I know how difficult that 10 games is. And they could do it, but I still feel Manchester City have got massive experience and if they hunt them down in that last few weeks it’s tough!
“I’ve been hunted down three or four times and lost, and I’ve hunted other teams down five or six times and won so I know how it feels. If your legs go in that last few weeks it can be two or three weeks to go and it can just turn.
“So there’s a long way to go yet so I’m not going to change my opinion. It upsets Arsenal fans but we need Arsenal to win the Premier League, we can’t have City winning it every year, we need to change it up.
“It’s good when a Leicester, Liverpool or Arsenal win it, we want that competitiveness. We’ve seen in other countries where teams win it five, six, seven, eight years [in a row], it’s no good.”
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