Arsenal dealt final Premier League title blow with new Man City benefit revealed before Tottenham

Arsenal players celebrate win over Manchester United
Arsenal have done all they can ahead of the final day -Credit:Michael Regan/Getty Images

There is a scene at the end of The Dark Knight when the Joker's big plans for Gotham City are starting to be unravelled. "You can't rely on anyone these days, you got to do everything yourself, don't we!?" he mumbles and then cries. Mikel Arteta would be forgiven for channelling a bit of Heath Ledger himself in the final week of the season.

Arsenal have done everything they can do for the past month. They have won five straight league games for the second time in 2024. The Gunners have kept four clean sheets in that period, winning at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Old Trafford. They held off tricky challenges in Wolves and Bournemouth, and they hammered Chelsea.

Yet, in this world of hyper standards, 90 points being the new 80, it may still not be enough. Manchester City have the title in their hands and no amount of hindsight points searching will change that.

Whether or not the turning point was the brief slip-up in December, not getting a win at the Etihad Stadium six weeks ago, or the defeat to Aston Villa, it is all a moot point right now. Arsenal can only do their own job, but right now they can't rely on anybody else.

City don't look like a team about to crumble, this is what they do in title races after all. Fulham posed little threat whilst in recent weeks there has been little resistance from Wolves, Brighton, or Luton. Arsenal's run of wins is impressive but City have seven straight themselves.

Drop points in either of the last two games and it could come down to goal difference, but confidence in Pep Guardiola's side falling isn't widespread. Their toughest task is without a doubt the trip to Tottenham on Tuesday.

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It has all the hallmarks of being a crunch match until Spurs' form is considered. Four losses in the last five games and a leaky defence on show. Ange Postecoglou hasn't seen his team keep a clean sheet since early March. City may never have scored at the new stadium in the Premier League, but it seems unlikely for that record to continue.

How do Tottenham counteract their opponents in north London? In the only way Postecoglou knows how. "What I will take confidence from is that we have an opportunity to measure ourselves against the best tomorrow night, a team that is consistently striving for honours," he said in a fiery press conference on Monday.

"A team we want to try to emulate one day. The best way to do that is to measure yourself against them by being yourself. We will go out there tomorrow night, play our football and see where it takes us."

However, Spurs have been dealt a blow in their attempts to get into the Champions League next season, and it leaves Arsenal without much hope either. It's something Postecoglou has always played down but only adds to the strange narrative heading into their meeting with City.

Spurs would be dealing their arch-rivals a huge boost if they were to take anything from the match, thus handing Arsenal a way back into the title race. Some fans have made it clear online that they would prefer their side to down tools and lose the game to ensure Arsenal aren't in even partial control of their own destiny.

Perhaps luckily for them there is less riding on the game anyway. After Aston Villa's late comeback against Liverpool, Unai Emery's side need just one point away to Crystal Palace to secure the fourth spot. Meanwhile, Spurs must win both their games to stand a chance.

At one stage on Monday night during the dramatic 3-3 draw it looked like Spurs could have been offered a glimmer of hope, opening up a slim chance of a win and draw being enough if Palace were to win on Sunday, although even then it would have needed a possible 6-0 victory in one of the games.

The result, thanks to two late Jhon Duran goals from the bench, means Tottenham are fighting a losing cause. For Arsenal it would have been beneficial if their rivals had more to play for on Tuesday in what is the biggest game left of the season.

Perhaps one arguement is that there is no margin for error for Tottenham and they know they simply must win. The edge has been taken off in previous weeks though, with seemingly nobody believing that an upset can be caused. You have to do everything yourself, unfortunately for Arsenal (and the Joker), everything might not be enough.