Manchester City’s nil-all draw with Arsenal became a defining moment in the title race

Manchester City’s nil-all draw with Arsenal at the beginning of April has become a season defining moment in this season’s title race. While the game wasn’t particularly note worthy, it did set the tone for what would follow. Comments from Manchester City’s midfield general Rodri after his team’s win over West Ham yesterday highlight just what the scoreless draw at the Etihad meant to the world champions.

Speaking with Optus Sports following Manchester City’s 3-1 win over West Ham, Rodri explained the difference between Manchester City and Arsenal. Rodri said: “The difference between us and Arsenal was up here (the mentality). When Arsenal came to the Etihad, I felt ‘these guys don’t want to beat us. They just want to draw’ – that mentality, we wouldn’t do that. If you give us one point, we will win the last 7/8 games.

Following City’s scoreless draw with Arsenal, the consensus was that Pep Guardiola’s side would have to win their final 9 games of the Premier League season to claim a fourth consecutive Premier League title. It was a challenge that Manchester City rose to as they secured their place in English football history yesterday.

At the time, they also knew that they had to rely on a slip up from Arsenal and Liverpool at the time. From that moment on the world champions clicked into gear to go on a winning run that saw claim the Premier League title. Both Arsenal and Liverpool wilted on the same day when they lost to Aston Villa and Crystal Palace. Those results gave Manchester City the initiative in the title race, and from there, the rest is history.

We will never know if Arsenal had gone for the win if it would’ve changed the outcome of this season’s title race. But to take the title off Manchester City, Mikel Arteta’s side had to beat the world champions. They didn’t, and by playing for a draw, they inadvertently handed Manchester City the motivation they needed to go on to create history.

Title races are defined by small moments that become part of the bigger picture. Manchester City’s nil-all draw with Arsenal in April was one such moment. It didn’t feel like it at the time, but Rodri’s post game comments show just how defining a moment it became in City’s season.

Tags Arsenal Aston Villa Crystal Palace English Premier League fourth consecutive Premier League title Liverpool Manchester City Mikel Arteta Optus Sports Pep Guardiola Premier League title race Rodri