EXPLAINER

Arsenal, Man City: All you need to know about the EPL final day title fight

Al Jazeera’s Sohail Malik speaks to former Manchester City player Nicky Summerbee about what to expect on the final day.

Video Duration 02 minutes 11 seconds 02:11Published On 19 May 202419 May 2024

The Premier League title race comes down to the final day with Manchester City and Arsenal separated by only two points.

We take a look at how the last match day of the season shapes up and what the permutations are.

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Who are Manchester City and Arsenal playing on the final day?

Table-topping Manchester City host West Ham at the Etihad Stadium as they seek to secure an unprecedented four Premier League titles in a row.

The Hammers will finish ninth in the league no matter the outcome of the match at City as they trail Manchester United in eighth by five points while they are four points clear of 10th-placed Bournemouth.

One carrot dangling for West Ham is to help out their former midfielder Declan Rice, who switched the London Stadium for Arsenal last summer.

The Gunners entertain Everton at the Emirates Stadium where the pressure, similar to the Hammers, is off the Toffees.

The Merseyside club are 14 points clear of the relegation zone which had been a season-long battleground following their points deduction by an independent commission which found they had breached the league’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules.

What do the title rivals need to do to be crowned Premier League champions?

The equation for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City is quite simple: beat West Ham and they will retain the Premier League crown.

Should City draw with West Ham, or worse, then the opportunity passes to Arsenal.

The Gunners know that, with a two-point gap to City going into the game, they simply have to beat Everton.

What Mikel Arteta’s north Londoners do have in their favour is a superior goal difference. So, should City draw and Arsenal win then the sides will finish level on points but the trophy will be heading to the Emirates for the first time in 20 years.

How much does this title mean to Manchester City and Arsenal?

It was hard to top Manchester City’s achievement in 2023, when they lifted five trophies.

A domestic treble is still on the cards for the Cityzens this season, having already lifted the EFL Cup while an FA Cup final against rivals Manchester United awaits.

The history that City would dearly love to make is that no side has ever won four consecutive Premier League titles.

Should Guardiola’s side lose then it is an unprecedented achievement that even they could surely only ever dream of achieving in the future.

So many of the greats of the game have won the three league times in a row – including Manchester United and Arsenal – but not have been able to secure a four-year stint as champions of England.

For Arsenal, who won three in a row in the 1930s under Herbert Chapman, coming out on top of the table on Sunday would end a 20-year wait for a Premier League title.

They last lifted the trophy under Arsene Wenger. It was the Frenchman’s third league title with the Gunners, who created their own piece of history by going through the season unbeaten when they lifted the second of Wenger’s three trophies.

Has the Premier League come down to the final day before?

There have been some thrilling final-day finishes in the title race, but the most famous example was Sergio Aguero’s late winner for Manchester City in 2011-12.

The Argentinian netted a stoppage-time winner against bottom-of-the-table Queens Park Rangers to hand City their first league title since 1967-68.

It denied Sir Alex Ferguson back-to-back titles that season and delayed the Scot’s retirement plans as he stayed on one more year to win back the trophy for a 13th and final time.

The bad news for Arsenal is that no side has come from second to win the Premier League on the final day of the season. To that extent, they would create history themselves if they denied City the unprecedented fourth consecutive crown.

Source: Al Jazeera