Thursday, June 13News That Matters

Rodri takes brutal swipe at Arsenal after Man City win record Premier League title

Manchester City’s Rodri has cast doubts on the strategy Arsenal employed during their visit to Etihad Stadium in March, suggesting it was a pivotal moment in the title chase.

On Sunday, Pep Guardiola’s team clinched their fourth consecutive Premier League title, with Phil Foden’s first-half double propelling them to a 3-1 triumph over West Ham in an afternoon devoid of high drama.

This win made Arsenal’s 2-1 victory against Everton a moot point, as City ended the season with a two-point advantage over their closest competitors.

While the consensus might be that Arsenal’s defeat at home to Aston Villa was the turning point in their title bid, Rodri contends that it was actually the highly commended stalemate at the Etihad they might come to rue.

In late March, Mikel Arteta’s squad secured a 0-0 draw, causing significant frustration for City, despite showing scant ambition in attack and possessing the ball for only 27 percent of the match – their season’s lowest.

Despite the tactical brilliance in defense, Rodri believes that Manchester City would have pursued a victory had they been in Arsenal’s shoes, and it’s this winning mindset that he feels ultimately drew the line between the two sides.

Asked how Man City keep on winning during an interview with Optus Sport, Rodri pointed at his head & said: ‘To be honest, I think it’s in here [the mind]. It’s the mentality.

‘Great players are all over the league, all over the clubs.

‘Arsenal also they deserve, they did an unbelievable season, but I think the difference was in here [points to head again].

‘When they came here, they faced us here at the Etihad, I saw them and said, “Ah, these guys, they don’t want to beat us, they just want a draw”.

‘And that mentality, I don’t think we would do it the same way.

‘And we caught it. At the end, if you give us one point, we will win the last seven, eight games even though it’s so tough. So it think [the win] comes down to mentality.’

Asked if he knew after Arsenal’s draw at the Etihad that Man City would win the title, Rodri said: ‘We believed.

‘But you believe because you did it, and we know how tough it is to do it. We have to go out on all the pitches, the Tottenham game we had never won there so it’s not easy to implement this.

‘But every season the manager, the players, find a way to do it. And even myself, comparing my first season I came here to now, you grow a lot in this sense [mentality-wise].’


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