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MANCHESTER: Arsenal’s Brazilian striker #09 Gabriel Jesus (L) fights for the ball with Manchester City’s Swiss defender #25 Manuel Akanji during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England. – AFP
MANCHESTER: Arsenal’s Brazilian striker #09 Gabriel Jesus (L) fights for the ball with Manchester City’s Swiss defender #25 Manuel Akanji during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England. – AFP
Arsenal may need perfect run-in to win Premier League

LONDON: Mikel Arteta said Tuesday that Arsenal may have to win all of their nine remaining Premier League games if they are to be crowned champions as he prepares for the “most beautiful part of the season”.

The second-placed Gunners are two points behind leaders Liverpool ahead of a busy April schedule following Sunday’s gritty goalless draw at title rivals Manchester City. Arteta, who is also preparing Arsenal for a Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich, urged his side to embrace the challenge, starting with Wednesday’s game at home to relegation-threatened Luton.

“It’s going to have to be really close to that,” he told a pre-match press conference when asked if Arsenal need a 100 percent record from now on to finish top of the table. “When you see the level and the consistency of the other teams and historically what is needed to win in this league, it’s not going to be very far from that.”

The Spaniard added: “This is where we want to be and now we want to take this opportunity and make it happen. We worked every single day with that enthusiasm and passion to make it happen and enjoying the moment as well.”

“I see the team really flowing and they are really excited about playing each game and that has to drive this energy until the end. I am full of energy and it’s the most beautiful part of the season.” Arsenal’s fixture against Luton is the first of eight matches this month, including the two clashes with Bayern.

Although they will be huge favourites to beat Luton, they needed an injury-time winner to leave Kenilworth Road with a dramatic 4-3 victory in early December. Asked about his memories of that game, Arteta said: “Especially how tough it was to win there, how difficult they have made it for every team...They deserve more credit than any other team in this league, how they’ve done it, what they transmit as a team and what they generated and it’s going to be a really tough match.” – AFP

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