Mikel Arteta optimistic that ‘something beautiful’ can happen for Arsenal on final day

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The ex-Manchester City coach is hoping to beat his former side to first place on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta has said his side still believe they can become Premier League champions on Sunday, despite Manchester City’s advantage going into the final day of the season.

The Blues’ win at Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday saw them establish a two-point lead over Arsenal and means that victory over West Ham United will see Pep Guardiola’s side win a fourth consecutive league title.

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Should they slip up, Arsenal are lying in wait. They face Everton at the Emirates, with Arteta hoping to beat his former side and that his old boss, David Moyes, can lend him an unlikely favour at the Etihad.

On the nine previous occasions the title fight has gone down to the final day it has been won by the side who started the afternoon in top spot. But, speaking in Friday's press conference, Arteta said he still has belief that can change, even if City have won the eight games in a row.

“It's a probability - if something happens then it’s more probable that something else can happen. Let’s wish that is the case,” he said.

“The only thing that we have discussed is giving ourselves the opportunity to live a beautiful day on Sunday where the dream is still alive and is possible, and it’s football. 

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“Once we are there, we just have to live the moment and play like every single week and understand that for that dream to happen, we have to win. Then we have to hope again for West Ham to help us to achieve that dream, but that part is on us and is the only thing that we can focus on.”

Asked if he sensed excitement within the Arsenal ranks, the Spaniard replied: “I do and around the building. We are in the last day of the season playing for the Premier League. The Premier League trophy hasn't been at Emirates Stadium and that was built almost 20 years ago, so that's a long, long time. 

“So yes, we have to be very optimistic. The trophy is going to be there and it's possible. We have to do our duties, and then we have to wait and see what happens.”

Regardless of what happens on the final day, for the Gunners it’s a huge improvement on last season when City secured top spot with three games of the 2022/23 campaign remaining. This time around, Arsenal have been relentless and have won 15 of their 17 league matches since the turn of the year.

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Arteta said ahead of the final game that he always believed his side could push City this season. “If I don’t believe that today, imagine how much I couldn’t believe in August,” the 42-year-old opined. 

“From August, 38 games against Manchester City and what they’ve done in the last 20 years as a club, with what we’ve done in the last 20 years in the Premier League, we’d have zero chance. We cannot start like this. We have to believe, for sure.”

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