Arsenal vs Aston Villa: Declan Rice explains why the Premier League title race is not over

With six league games left to be played, Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice has insisted that anything can yet happen.

Declan Rice in a file photo (Image: Twitter/ Declan Rice)
By Karthik Raman | Apr 16, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Arsenal’s hopes of ending the season with a Premier League trophy are hanging by a thread. The Gunners were involved in an intense three-horse title race for the majority of the season. There were times when they were also on top of the standings. However, they were not able to stay there for long after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa at home. It could be massive in the overall title race, with the Gunners no longer sitting at the top of the standings.

The game of this Premier League weekend took place at the Emirates Stadium when Arsenal hosted Aston Villa. A lot was riding on this game since both sides needed the win for various reasons. The Gunners are fighting for the league crown hence every point counts, while Villa are involved in an unexpected top-four race and are currently sitting in the driver’s seat to secure Champions League football. In an intense battle, Arsenal were unable to make their first-half supremacy count.

It’s not over yet: Declan Rice

Aston Villa made life difficult for them in the second half and scored two late goals to secure the win. With six league games left to be played, Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice has insisted that anything can yet happen and they won’t give up. “It’s not over yet, there’s six games to go. We’re in an unbelievable position, two points behind. We’re still ready, we’re still fully focused on what we want to do and what we can achieve. There’s going to be many more twists and turns in the Premier League, I think you can see that with the other results today. Anything can happen and we’ll stay positive,” Rice, quoted on, said after the match.

Rice expressed his frustration with the result, as he urged his teammates to show a response in the Champions League quarter-final second leg away to Bayern Munich. “We’re gutted and disappointed we’ve lost a massive game but, it’s time for a reaction. We’ve been on such an amazing run since January, won so many football matches, and got ourselves back into an unbelievable position after being written off at Christmas,” he explained.

He added: “Now that reaction starts in the Champions League against Bayern, so we’ll be ready for that. We have to park this to the side now. It’s gone, it’s a game of football. We’ve lost but we need to bounce back, that’s for sure. It’s a great chance for us to get into a Champions League semi-final. Going to the Allianz Arena, it’s going to be a special night. It’s time to pull our socks up and show everyone why we’re in this position.”

Rice then went on to explain the difference between both halves in the game against Aston Villa. “When you create that many chances and have that many one-on-ones with the keeper or you get to the byline and you don’t quite get the cross, or don’t quite get the finish it’s very disappointing. We’ve got to be taking one of those chances because in games like this, teams like Villa have got quality and can come back to haunt you and they did today,” he said.

The midfielder added: “I think in the first half they gave us so much space, then second half they adapted to that. They closed everything up, and where we were having our success in the first half, they shut down completely. We didn’t have enough attempts on goal in the second half, that’s for sure, in a game where we should be winning.”

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