Where Arsenal went wrong in the title race

  • The Gunners came so close to pipping Manchester City to the Premier League title but failed for the second season running, and there is reason for this
Mikel Arteta will be frustrated to have missed out on the title again
Mikel Arteta will be frustrated to have missed out on the title again / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

Arsenal finished second in the Premier League behind Manchester City for the second season in a row and will be frustrated not to have gone one step further.

The Gunners have had a very strong season, winning a club record 28 games, drawing five, and losing five, but they still fell short of the title. Mikel Arteta's side netted 91 goals across the campaign, which was the second-highest in the league, and they were the best defensively, having conceded just 29.

Arsenal also kept the most clean sheets in the league and conceded the fewest xG. Despite these positives, there is still a blatant point where the Gunners went wrong in the Premier League title race.

Where Arsenal went wrong in the title race

Martin Odegaard
There is one reason why Arsenal failed to win the league / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Arsenal failed to win the title because they lacked a natural goalscorer. Despite being the second-highest-scoring team in the league, their inability to finish chances at times this season cost them the Premier League title.

The Gunners failed to win ten games throughout this season with an even number of draws and losses. In eight of the ten matches where Arsenal dropped points, the side underperformed in terms of xG. The most notorious examples of this are the home defeats to West Ham and Aston Villa.

In the majority of these games, Arsenal were the dominant side and should have been victorious but they failure to take chances cost them what would have been crucial wins in the race for the Premier League title.

During the Christmas period, Arsenal scored just three goals from 81 shots taken in four games. Despite only being a small patch of poor form, this has ultimately proven costly in the title race.

Every club at all levels of football has matches where they struggle to score and it seems like it will be 'one of those days' but the Gunners' issue is that they can't afford to have these days when competing with a side as elite as Manchester City.

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal side were in a position where they needed to rack up as many points as possible, especially in games in which they were the dominant side if they had any hopes of beating this seemingly unstoppable Man City team to the Premier League title. Having finished just two points off the champions, it is frustrating that just one more win would have been enough for the Gunners.

Granted, Arsenal's occasional goalscoring problems this season were not exactly easy to answer due to the lack of a natural out-and-out striker at the club so it would have been tough to prevent such a problem. The decision to move Kai Havertz to centre forward and his brilliant form came too little too late for the Gunners and did not have enough of an impact on the title outcome.

As a result, Arteta must take note of this ahead of the transfer window and next season, when he hopes his side can put together a third consecutive title push.