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Arsenal ‘100%’ still in the race for Premier League glory, Mikel Arteta says | UK News

Mikel Arteta gives very little of himself away in interviews but what he makes no effort to hide is how much he wants this Premier league title.

It may not be in Arsenal‘s hands after slipping up against Aston Villa but the 5-0 bounce back against Chelsea this week was spectacular – and he still believes his team are “100%” in with a chance of being crowned champions.

The last time they lifted the elusive trophy was two decades ago in their “Invincibles” season when they went unbeaten in the league.

And the Gunners’ boss says they have an “unbelievable desire” this time around to clinch the Premier League title once again.

Arsenal's Ben White, center front, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium in London, Tuesday, April 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Arsenal celebrating a 5-0 win against London rivals Chelsea. Pic:AP

Speaking to Sky News, Arteta said he was “really enjoying… fighting to win major trophies and being involved with the best teams in the world”, as Manchester City and Liverpool battle it out with Arsenal at the top of the pile.

Despite it being a nail-biting finish to the season, Arteta said to avoid jangling nerves the team talks about “all the positive things” they have, saying: “We have earned the right to be here.”

Mikel Arteta. Pic: AP
Mikel Arteta. Pic: AP

The Spaniard continued: “We can look from every angle, every stat, we deserve to be where we are and we’ve done it for nine months and we can do it for the last three weeks.

“It’s on us and we’re gonna make sure we can do everything that we can.”

Arsenal have won the most games this season out of all the Premier League sides (24), scored the most goals in the division (82), and conceded the fewest (26) – but Manchester City are still title favourites according to football site Squawka.

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Brighton and Manchester City at the Falmer Stadium in Brighton, England, Thursday, April 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Manchester City are hot on the heels of Arsenal. Pic: AP

Pep Guardiola’s side have one game in hand over Arsenal, are one point behind and have a squad replete with talent.

But Arsenal too have a strong team and players from all positions scoring goals, as Arteta said they were not fatigued despite the intensity of the run-in.

He said: “When you are fighting for what we are fighting for there is no room for [tiredness]. I think if I ask any player, ‘do you want to play?’, they will be knocking on my door.”

Arsenal play their biggest rivals on Sunday in Tottenham Hotspur, and Arteta said the match gives the team “extra motivation” given the fierce history of the fixture and how much it means to their fans.

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Turning his attention away from football, Arteta admitted the title challenge has meant it’s not been an “easy thing” to leave his work at the door.

But the 42-year-old former Arsenal midfielder says his family, wife and three children have the “superpower” to disconnect him from work more than anything else.

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And asked about who he would want to sing at Arsenal’s last match of the season, Arteta said he would give the players the honour to pick an artist – but when pressed settled on Bon Jovi.

Arteta has so far won the FA Cup with Arsenal since taking over as manager in 2019.

Arsenal midfielder Frida Maanum ‘stable’ after collapsing during Conti Cup final | UK News

An Arsenal midfielder is in a stable condition after collapsing during the Women’s League Cup final.

Frida Maanum went down off the ball during second-half stoppage time of the clash against Chelsea on Sunday.

The 24-year-old received treatment on the pitch before being carried off on a stretcher.

Arsenal’s players and their manager Jonas Eidevall quickly signalled for medical staff when they saw the Norwegian international hit the ground, with Stina Blackstenius and Katie McCabe rushing to her.

Both sets of players remained on the pitch while Maanum received oxygen through a mask before being carried down the tunnel at Molineux, the home of Wolverhampton Wanderers, which was used as a neutral venue for the Conti Cup finale.

Alessia Russo came on to replace the stricken midfielder and play resumed in the 14th additional minute with the scores level at 0-0.

Arsenal went on to win the final 1-0 with Blackstenius scoring the winner in the 26th minute of extra time.

Jonas Eidevall, the Arsenal boss, said after the game: “We trust our medical team and we got really good information from them as well.”

Arsenal Women later posted an update on Maanum’s condition on X, saying: “Frida is conscious, talking and in a stable condition. She will continue to be monitored closely by our medical team. We’re all with you, Frida.”

Blackstenius, speaking to BBC Sport after scoring the winner, said of her teammate: “It’s always really hard. She’s a team-mate and a friend to all of us.

“We care so much about her. You worry a bit when stuff like this happens.

“We said we wanted to do this for her, to get this win for her because she couldn’t be with us at that point.”

Pablo Mari: Arsenal stars honour stabbed teammate – as his on-loan club say he faces months out of action | World News

Arsenal players have honoured teammate Pablo Mari after he was stabbed in Italy, as his on-loan club revealed he has been released from hospital but faces months out of action.

The 29-year-old defender, who is on loan at Italian side Monza, was among five people stabbed by a knife-wielding man at a shopping centre in Assago, on the outskirts of Milan, on Thursday evening.

One man died in the incident and Mari has told how he was “lucky” to survive.

Arsenal players held up a shirt featuring Mari’s name and shirt number 22 after taking the lead in their 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

The Spanish footballer avoided life-threatening injuries after being stabbed but needed surgery on his back.

A 46-year-old man was arrested over the incident.

In a statement on Sunday, Monza said Mari has now been released from hospital but would need “a period of absolute rest” and is expected to be out for two to three months.

The club said their players will warm up for their home match against Bologna on Monday wearing special shirts dedicated to Mari, with his name on the back and a message on the front saying “come back soon Pablo”.

There will also be a minute’s silence before kick-off in memory of Luis Fernando Ruggieri, the supermarket employee who was killed in the attack.

View of the supermarket at a shopping centre where several people were injured, including Monza's football player Pablo Mari, after a stabbing incident in Assago, near Milan, Italy
Five people were stabbed at a shopping centre in Assago

The Italian league rejected Monza’s request for the match to be postponed.

Monza coach Raffaele Palladino said it had been a “very emotional” week.

“It was a horrible week but also beautiful because what happened to Pablo is a miracle, that it wasn’t more serious,” he added.

“We realised it could have been a lot worse and we understood that it was our duty to play, to go out on the field and give everything, especially for Pablo.”

Mari thanked well-wishers on social media on Friday, posting a picture of himself in a hospital bed alongside his wife.

He wrote: “After the hard moment we experienced yesterday, both my family and I want to communicate that fortunately we are all fine despite the circumstances, and we want to say thanks for all the messages of support and affection that we are receiving.”