Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pinpoints Mikel Arteta decision which may have lost the title

Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pinpoints Mikel Arteta decision which may have lost the title

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal’s goalless draw with title rivals Man City was a wasted opportunity and could be the moment they lost the title for a second season running.

Arsenal came away from the cagey encounter at the Etihad Stadium one point ahead of last season’s treble-winners, having produced an impressive defensive display but showed little intent to attack.

The Gunners title hopes were again hit by Sunday’s disappointing 2-0 home loss to Aston Villa. Having seen Liverpool drop points earlier in the day, Arsenal dominated the first half but failed to convert their chances, and were punished after the break in another pivotal turning result in the title race.

Wenger believes Arteta’s decision to go defensive against Man City may prove more damaging, and was disappointed his former team did not push harder for a result.

"It was a complete surprise,” Wenger said on beIN Sports. “You know that when you play for the championship at home with eight games to go and you have the opportunity to make a difference, you have to take it.

"The surprise of the weekend is that City have their nose in front again. Nobody expected that. Of course, one could have a bad result but not the two and that is surprising. Arsenal still have an advantage with their goal difference.

"So even if City have a draw and we win, we'd be in front of them. The frustration was a bit on the day [they drew at City]. You didn't know after the game. OK it was a good point and a well-fought point because City didn't create much.

"I get as well the feeling that if they had pushed more, the three points were available there. You'll know at the end of the season, usually when you play against a big opponent and you can finish him off, you want to do it."

Despite losing the initiative in the title race, it’s far from over. Man City have a tricky run in, including an away fixture at Tottenham in the penultimate game of the season, a ground where they’ve not scored in four league games.