The Premier League title race is “not over” for Manchester City and Arsenal, but ex-player Kolo Toure acknowledged the reigning champions hold the advantage.
Pep Guardiola’s side ruthlessly dismantled Arsenal in a 4-1 win on Wednesday, to move two points off the Gunners at the summit with two games in hand.
After dropping points three games on the bounce before their loss to the champions, Arsenal’s hopes of a first title since 2004 look to have slipped away.
But Toure, who won Premier League titles with both clubs across his career, feels it cannot be called until the final day of the season, despite City’s ascendancy.
“It is not over yet,” he told Stats Perform. “There are still some games. [It was a] big statement from City. They showed their qualities, they showed their mentality.
“They showed that they want to win the Premier League. From the start of the season, they have always been the favourite to win it, but [there are a] few games to go.
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“Arsenal have been doing very well this season. Challenging City is always really, really hard because of the manager, because of the depth of the team they have.
“But Arsenal are surprising everybody and until the last game, you cannot say that league is done. As soon as you have one mistake, and you lose one game, everything changes in your mind.
“The pressure starts again. That’s why, for Arsenal, it’s very important that they stay on it. They have to make sure they don’t make any mistakes to keep the pressure on City.”
Arsenal had been considered rank outsiders for the title in pre-season, but until their recent dip, looked in a commanding position to push on and secure victory.
A slew of draws with Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton have cost them dearly however, with the defeat to City taking matters out of their hands.
Toure disagrees with the idea Arsenal have choked from the pressure however, and believes the Gunners have shown exceptional growth under Mikel Arteta to even be in the conversation.
“It’s very harsh [to say so],” he added. “That’s harsh because no one expected Arsenal to do what they are doing. Until the season is over, it’s not over.
“I would say they’re on the right road and the right track, because Arsenal have been suffering for a few years with some of their results. Arteta came, he did a great job.
He has put the club on the right path now. They just have to believe in him, they just have to carry on with what they’re doing. I believe they are on the right track.
“[If they] stay calm, keep doing the process, keep putting pressure on those immense clubs like City, like Liverpool, then there is a moment where your time will come to shine.”
Arsenal next face a London derby with struggling Chelsea on Tuesday before a clash with top-four rivals Newcastle United a week on Sunday.
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