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Arsenal’s Season Finale and the Reality of Manchester City’s Title Amid 115 Charges

Arsenal Ends on High as Man City's Title Faces Questions

You can still have a lot of fun in 80 seconds. Arsenal’s final-day rally provided a brief carnival atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium, but the real drama was unfolding elsewhere. As the players walked out, red and white smoke filled the air, evoking the excitement of a presidential campaign’s final rally.

However, reality quickly set in. Within 80 seconds, news filtered through of Phil Foden’s stunning opening goal for Manchester City against West Ham at the Etihad, a beautiful strike from just outside the penalty area. The energy at the Emirates began to fade, and although Arsenal had chances against a resilient Everton, Jordan Pickford’s brilliant reflex save kept hopes at bay.

Hope momentarily rose when Idrissa Gueye sent Everton fans into a frenzy with a deflected free-kick, making it 1-0. Arsenal equalized through a fine goal by Takehiro Tomiyasu, but the cruelty for Arsenal fans continued. Rumors swirled of West Ham scoring at Manchester, causing a brief surge of excitement, but these were false. By halftime, Rodri had made it 3-1 to City, and the day was clearly heading in one direction.

Despite the results, there was a familial warmth in the Emirates stands during the second half. Kai Havertz’s late winner for Arsenal closed the final gap behind City to two points. Yet, there are two key points to consider about this dramatic season’s end.

First, the elephant in the room: Manchester City is under 115 charges related to alleged financial irregularities, each potentially leading to a points deduction. This casts a shadow over the league’s credibility. How does one reconcile a thrilling final-day title race with the reality of such allegations? Manchester City, a brilliant team, has won the league by two points in a season where other teams faced points deductions for lesser infractions. This raises questions about fairness and the legitimacy of the competition.

If City is found guilty – a significant if, as they deny all charges – the penalties could range widely. The charges, currently under examination, affect the league’s integrity. The Premier League needs to resolve this promptly to avoid a sense of an asterisk looming over City’s title.

For Arsenal, despite an impressive 89-point season, the question remains: Is second place good enough? Football is unforgiving, and coming second often feels like failure. Yet, Arsenal’s progress is evident. Their defense is solid, attack fluid, and Martin Ødegaard’s influence remarkable. The team has not faltered; they have been exceptional in a season with sky-high standards.

Looking ahead, Arsenal may need a high-grade No. 9 for the closest matches. Depth is crucial as the current first XI has been pushed to its limits. Mikel Arteta emphasized the need to push for more, and with some investment, Arsenal can build on this strong foundation. They should be proud of their achievements this season, even if only first place is considered truly great.

Credit: Guardian Sport

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