- Arsenal came from behind to win 4-2
- Emotional celebrations after late goals
- Gunners unblemished since then
WHAT HAPPENED? A late Emiliano Martinez own goal against his former club and Gabriel Martinelli's tap-in into an empty net sealed a crucial victory in the dying embers at Villa Park, sending Arsenal players and staff alike into ecstasy. However, Neville - who won 12 Premier League titles between 1993 and 2011 for Manchester United - believes such an emotional response underlines why the Gunners won't end their 19-year wait for a league title. And he's not the first to make such comments.
His comments come despite Arsenal winning again at the weekend over Leicester City and leading Everton on Wednesday to claim a Premier League title advantage over Manchester City.
WHAT THEY SAID: “Arsenal have struggled in latter parts of seasons, with last season the most recent example of this. This is why Manchester City will win the Premier League,” Neville told his The Overlap YouTube channel. “Because when it gets to the last 10 games, Arsenal will start to panic a little bit, the anxiety will kick in, pressure builds. If Arsenal do it and win the league it will be an unbelievable achievement, but they haven’t been around the block like Manchester City.
“It’s too much emotion, too early for Arsenal. To be that desperate and to celebrate that much with half the race still to go, it’s not a good thing. After the Aston Villa game, I can understand how big of a moment it was, but that level of celebration was quite desperate, quite early. There was a lot of celebrations at the end of the game. The emotions are something that’s a negative, it’s not a positive for me in a title race.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Of course, it's not the first time Arsenal's celebrations have come under scrutiny. Mikel Arteta's side - who has been responsible for some fiery reactions himself this campaign - were often placed under the microscope towards the back end of last season, which the Gunners finished outside the Champions League places. This term, however, they appear to be handling the pressure better in a reflection of their growing maturity.
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WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? After Wednesday's clash against the Toffees, Arteta's side will host Bournemouth in the league on Saturday.