Arsenal Lose Their Bottle and Let Manchester United Off the Hook

Pro BenchwarmerContributor IMarch 5, 2011

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05:  Sunderland fans show their support during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Sunderland at Emirates Stadium on March 5, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

After Arsenal's disappointing 0-0 draw with Sunderland at the Emirates, the pendulum of the title race looks to have swung back the way of Sir Alex Ferguson's men.

In what may prove to be one of the most exciting seasons in recent years, Arsenal had the chance today to close the gap between them and leaders United, to just one point.

However, failing to score against an eighth-placed Sunderland side means they trail by three points, with an inferior goal difference to boot.

There has been talk that after United threw away a 1-0 lead against Chelsea in mid-week to lose 2-1, Arsenal would push on and really apply pressure to the Red Devils.

After today's result though, that looks unlikely—especially if United get a result against Liverpool tomorrow.

This recent failure to capitalize on a situation presented to them has been a hallmark of the last six years in North London and has been a major contributor to their current trophy-less run.

Last week's loss in the League Cup final last Sunday is just another example of this.

The young gunners must learn to cope with the pressure of a title run-in if they are to win the biggest prize in England.

Ironically, this is the very thing the Manchester outfit excel at. It is often noted that their form in the new year is their best period of the season and although this year it has brought their only two losses, it would take a brave man to bet against them holding on to lift the trophy once more.

Only experience will allow Arsenal to get this same mentality though and the more they get themselves in this position, the more likely they will press on and turn the screw on the other teams at the top.

Many say Arsenal do not have the squad to win the league this time around and although they do look like they need another central defender, an attacker and generally a leader for the time, stranger things have happened and despite Manchester City's 1-0 win today, Arsenal are the only team close enough to dent United's hopes.

This latest twist has undoubtedly added to the exciting and unpredictable nature of this year's competition and long may it continue.

If United lose against Liverpool tomorrow, Arsenal will be in an even better position than they were after Tuesday's game and their chance to prove their mettle once more will present itself in two weeks against West Brom.

West Brom however, have seemingly struck form and Roy Hodgson's men seem to have to knack of not being beaten. Today, they went one better and won the Midland's derby 3-1.

That though, is another story and it is tomorrow where all eyes will focus.

A win for United and there would be few who would dare bet against a record twelfth title.

A draw or loss however—and the door is once again wide open.

Personally, I cannot wait.

What do you think?

What score will it be tomorrow?

Who will win the title this season?


For my predictions for United vs. Liverpool check out

Thanks for reading.