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Rodri suggests Arsenal´s mentality cost them Premier League title

SoccerNews in English Premier League 20 May 2024

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Rodri has suggested Arsenal’s mentality cost them the Premier League title, after Manchester City became the first team to win four straight English top-flight crowns.

City edged out Arsenal by two points on the final day of the season, their 3-1 win over West Ham ensuring the Gunners’ comeback victory over Everton was immaterial.

Rodri scored the crucial third goal just before the hour mark to settle nerves at the Etihad Stadium, after Mohammed Kudus had drawn West Ham within one goal.

City finished the season with nine straight wins after playing out a 0-0 draw with Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium in late March, while the Gunners dropped three points in a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa in April.

Reflecting on that goalless draw, Rodri accused Arsenal of settling for a point and hinted a lack of bravery had cost them.

Asked by Optus Sport for the secret behind City’s success, Rodri pointed to his head as he said: “To be honest, I think it’s in here. It’s the mentality.

“Arsenal, also they deserved [to win the league], they did an unbelievable season, but I think the difference was in here.

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

“That mentality… I don’t think we would do it the same way. We caught them.

“At the end, if you give us one point, we will win the last seven, eight games even though it’s so tough. So I think it comes down to mentality.”

Rodri did not taste defeat in the Premier League throughout 2023-24, with all three of City’s losses coming when the Spaniard was suspended.

He has now gone unbeaten through his last 50 Premier League matches, with only former Arsenal defender Sol Campbell enjoying a longer such streak (56 games between 2002 and 2004).

City’s historic triumph means they have surpassed the achievements of Huddersfield Town (1923-1926), Arsenal (1932-35), Liverpool (1981-1984) and Manchester United (1998-2001 and 2006-2009), all of whom won three straight top-flight titles.

They could also become the first team to ever win back-to-back league and FA Cup doubles on Saturday, when they face Manchester United in the final of the latter competition at Wembley Stadium.

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