Leaders were unlucky to meet Manchester City during poor run, not in October, and eight-point leads, once squandered, are seldom regained

What if the Queen hadn’t died when she did? If she hadn’t, Arsenal would have faced PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League in September and that game wouldn’t have had to be played in the midweek slot when they’d been slated to host Manchester City.

Arsenal would have gone into what could prove the defining game of the season in October on a run of seven straight victories, having beaten Tottenham and Liverpool in their previous two home league matches, while City would have been coming off a 1-0 defeat at Liverpool. As it was, Arsenal were fretting in their worst run of the season, while City were just beginning to emerge from a post-World Cup blip. But still they’ll blame the referees.

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