Arsenal receive unexpected title boost from Tottenham despite Man City defeat amid West Ham hope

Mikel Arteta has some reason to thank Tottenham after Manchester City defeat gave Arsenal a boost which has gone under the radar

Arsenal were certainly frustrated to see their north London rivals Tottenham fail to deliver them an unlikely favour when they were beaten 2-0 by Manchester City, the first defeat in the league for more than half a decade. Had Spurs managed to avoid defeat, the Gunners would have gone into the final game of the season with the advantage.

Instead, Arsenal are now reliant on West Ham United to pull off something of a football miracle and secure either a win or a draw at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Arsenal, meanwhile, will of course need to win their game against Everton at the Emirates Stadium to have any hope whatsoever of lifting the trophy.

That said, there was one positive which came out of Tuesday night’s disappointing result which has given Arsenal a bonus. One scenario which could have occurred from Man City drawing with Tottenham was a goal-difference shootout on Sunday.

For goal difference to matter, City had to draw one of their final two games and having beaten Spurs it means that only a draw with West Ham will bring this scenario into the fold. However, because City failed to score more than two goals in against Spurs, Arsenal will be guaranteed a goal-difference advantage this weekend should they beat Everton.

There is no scoreline which sees Arsenal win and City draw which would hand the title back to the current champions. It makes the maths much simpler to work out come this weekend and Arsenal should take encouragement that knowing a victory of any kind is enough to fulfil their side of the mission.

The downside remains West Ham and David Moyes' individual records against City are very poor. They haven’t beaten City in the league since 2015, a 2-1 win during Manuel Pellegrini’s final campaign.

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The only time Pep Guardiola lost to West Ham was in the fourth round of the 2021/22 League Cup, and the match required penalties. An outright win isn't looking likely – although City themselves broke a six-year bad streak in the league at Tottenham only days ago.

What about a potential draw? Since that win in 2015, West Ham have drawn with City three more times, however, all of them were in London.

That said, football is the sport where can expect the unexpected. Arsenal will have their fingers crossed, but their focus fully with Everton.