Jamie Carragher disagrees with Mikel Arteta’s claim that must beat to keep their title hopes alive.
The Gunners have enjoyed a sensational campaign but are enduring a wobble at the business end of the season, forfeiting two-goal leads to draw with Liverpool and West Ham.
Arsenal’s potentially costly blip continued on Friday night as they were .
It could have been even worse for Arteta’s side, who needed two late goals to salvage a draw and prevent Southampton from securing only their sixth win of the campaign.
Despite Arsenal’s latest setback, Arteta praised his players in his post-match interview with and said he ‘loved’ the way they reacted to going two goals behind twice in the match.
But Arteta also said he felt Arsenal needed to beat title rivals Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night to stand a chance of becoming Premier League champions for the first time since 2004.
Manchester City are just five points behind Arsenal with two games in hand and a superior goal difference.
Asked if Arsenal have to beat Man City to continue their title challenge, Arteta said: ‘Yes, I agree.
‘I’m very confident, today is a good example of the level they can show, how capable they are to play against a different type of opponent. The spirit is incredible and we have to try and do it again.’
But Carragher believes Arsenal could still clinch a long-awaited Premier League title if they draw with Pep Guardiola’s side and says the Gunners ‘shouldn’t do anything stupid’ to try to force a victory.
‘Of course, Arsenal will go there and want to win the game and they will try to win the game,’ the Liverpool legend said. ‘If they do draw the game, what is Mikel Arteta going to say at the end of the game?
‘Man City will still have tough games. They have got to go away to Brighton and to Everton, they will not be easy games.
‘Of course, Arsenal have other tough games but what I don’t think Arsenal should do is, if that game is in the balance with 20 minutes to go, they shouldn’t do something stupid in terms of thinking they have to win the game.
‘They want to win the game, but don’t lose it. If they lose the game, it is over, it’s finished. A draw is not the end of the world going to Man City. You have to keep it going as long as it can possibly go.
‘It is still in Arsenal’s hands, and we keep saying it, and it just shows you how far ahead they were. They’ve dropped six points in the last three games, and it is still in their hands.
‘They did have a really sizeable lead, but they are going to have to do something miraculous now between now and the end of the season.
‘But we’ve seen them go on runs before, certainly on the back of losing to Man City at Emirates Stadium. That was a big disappointment, but they went on to win the next seven games.
‘They’ve got six games to go now, and they will have to go and do something special between now and the end of the season to win it.’
Arsenal conceded after just 28 seconds against Southampton as Carlos Alcaraz punished an Aaron Ramsdale mistake, before Theo Walcott doubled the visitors’ lead inside 15 minutes.
Gabriel Martinelli pulled a goal back for the league leaders before Duje Caleta-Car headed home Southampton’s third, sparking wild celebrations in the away end.
Those celebrations disappeared as Arsenal produced a late comeback and rescued a point thanks to Martin Odegaard’s long-range effort and Bukayo Saka’s crisp strike.
Reflecting on the dramatic 3-3 draw, Carragher added: ‘The way the game went against Southampton was exactly what Arsenal didn’t want.
‘There were mistakes, it was emotional, and the game was end-to-end. They just wanted to win the game and 2-0 or 3-0 against Southampton, who are bottom of the league.
‘Most people expected them to do that but when you go a goal down after 30 seconds it becomes a game they didn’t want.’
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