A Long Week Ahead for Arsenal?

When asked to talk about a penalty and disallowed goal incident late in yesterday’s goalless draw with Sunderland, Arsene Wenger told the bbc he was “too disgusted to speak about it, frankly”.

Andrey Arshavin was pushed in the back by Titus Bramble when one-on-one with Simon Mignolet yesterday, causing him to fall over as he blasted his shot off target. Later, Andrey Arshavin tucked away a one-on-one with the Belgian keeper after the referee’s whistle had blown for offside. Replay’s show the Russian was onside.

Steve Bruce rightfully pointed out that his keeper would have made an effort to save it had the whistle not blown, and therefore it was no guarantee to be a goal. These decisions happen every week – some times they go your way, some times they don’t. That’s football. Arsenal had 90 minutes and 1 minute more than than the 4 minutes of stoppage time allocated to score, and they failed to do so. Robin van Persie’s absentee was notable. While Samir Nasri has not been able to match his early season form.

Sunderland ended a 4-game losing streak by taking a point away with them from the Emirates yesterday. Titus Bramble now has clean sheets versus Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea this season.

Arsenal are now 3 points behind leaders Manchester United with 10 games remaining. The title race is still very wide open and if anything, Arsenal have a much better run in. Manchester United go to Liverpool today to face Kenny Dalglish’s side who have yet to lose at home during his second stint in charge.

This time last weekend Arsenal were very much in the hunt for the quadruple. Defeat in the Carling Cup to Birmingham has been followed up with a draw against Sunderland in the league. On Tuesday Arsenal travel to Camp Nou with a 2-1 lead over Barcelona in their Champions League last 16 tie. Will that be enough to see them through? Or more likely, how many will Lionel Messi score? Barcelona are only 3/8 to qualify following injuries to Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie, Alex Song, Theo Walcott and the continued absence of Thomas Vermaelen.

After today’s game, Manchester United don’t play again until they host Arsenal in the quarter final of the FA Cup next weekend.

So, how many trophies will Arsenal be in the running for this time next weekend? Arsenal are 7/2 to win the FA Cup which requires them getting a result at Old Trafford.

One race Arsenal will not be out of this time next weekend is the Premier League. At worst, they will be 6 points behind with a game in hand. They could be 3 points behind with a game in hand should Liverpool win today. Arsenal have a very favourable fixture list, playing West Brom away, free-falling Blackburn at the Emirates and out-of-form Blackpool away before they host Liverpool on April 17. Arsenal are 5/2 to win the Premier League.

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