Sporting Lisbon beat Arsenal on penalties in the Europa League
AFP News

Even though not mathematically yet, Arsenal's Premier League title fight is practically over after they lost 3-0 to Brighton on Sunday.

The Gunners needed a victory to keep the pressure on reigning champions Manchester City, who secured an easy 3-0 win over Everton earlier. However, Arsenal's latest defeat at Emirates to the Seagulls meant Pep Guardiola's City are now just a win away from regaining the Premier League crown.

On paper, for Arsenal to clinch their first league title since the 2003-04 season, they must beat Nottingham Forest next Saturday and hope for a minor miracle in Man City's final three matches. This looks highly unlikely, considering the Etihad club has not suffered a loss in as many as 14 league games.

As Man City are inches away from clinching the English top-flight trophy, which would mark their sixth title win in 10 seasons, the confidence is brimming across the talented group, even to those that haven't been regular starters this term.

Laporte's tweet after Arsenal's loss

Centre-Back Aymeric Laporte is one of the fringe members of Guardiola's squad at Man City, but he is certainly aware of what it takes to win the competitive Premier League. Acknowledging the significance of Arsenal's latest loss, Laporte took to social media to mock the title rivals.

As Man City are so close that they can "smell" the league title, the Spanish defender tweeted a gif of former WWE wrestler The Rock, with a "Mmmmm I can smell it" tagline. As expected, the tweet went down really well with City's fanbase who have quite a presence on the said social media platform.

A Man City fan responded to Laporte's post by tweeting: "It's home already." To which the Spain international replied: "No no never, we still have to work for it."

Laporte moved from Atletico Bilbao to Man City during the 2018 January window. In his first full season at Etihad, which was in 2018-19, he was a regular in Guardiola's side, making 51 appearances in all competitions. However, he has fallen in the pecking order, not even playing 30 games in a campaign in the following two seasons.

The 28-year-old defender managed 44 games last season for City, but again in the current campaign, Laporte has so far played just 22 games for Guardiola and Co.

Man City are on the cusp of completing a hat-trick of Premier League title victories. The last time the side was close to achieving it, Liverpool had denied them a third straight title by claiming it in 2019-20.

Guardiola is chasing a treble as his side is alive in the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League as well. They are set to play the FA Cup final next month against neighbours Manchester United, while they drew 1-1 at Real Madrid in the first leg of the semi-finals of the top European competition.

Mikel Arteta apologises to Arsenal's fans

On Sunday, Arsenal had a tight first half against Brighton before conceding three second-half goals to eventually fall to a nightmare defeat at home. Speaking after the game, a dejected Mikel Arteta could only apologise to supporters for what happened in the second half.

"It's a really different feeling to the feeling that we all had last Sunday [against Newcastle] when we felt proud and we felt that we really did what we needed to win in certain moments. Today is completely the opposite. We have to apologise to our people, especially for the second half.

"We fought really hard to be in the position we are in and today we were in a critical moment to keep hoping and digging for that dream. When you have to play in these moments you cannot do what we did in the second half. If a team is capable of doing that when it comes to the biggest stage, there's a lot of things to analyse and think about because it cannot happen," added Arteta.