Gabriel Jesus almost led Arsenal to their first Premier League title in 19 years

Gabriel Jesus points to the exact moment when Arsenal lost the Premier League title race to Man City – Daily Mail

Gabriel Jesus points to the exact moment when Arsenal lost the Premier League title race to Manchester City last season and insists that ‘we are taking a lot less against him’

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Gabriel Jesus has had his say on when Arsenal’s title shot went up in flames, pointing to an untimely injury to one of the club’s stars.

The Gunners were favorites to lift the Premier League trophy for the first time in 19 years, having held pole position for much of the 2022-23 season.

However, a spate of poor results ahead – and a costly humiliation at the hands of rivals Manchester City – ultimately saw them fall short in their pursuit of the English crown.

But rather than a lack of experience or a weaker mentality at the end of the season, Jesus, himself a veteran of multiple league wins at City, stressed that the loss of one of his teammates to injury played a vital role.

Speaking on The Denilson Show against the eponymous World Cup winner, he admitted that the Gunners’ previously solid defense had begun to leak more goals following William Saliba’s back injury that ruled him out of the tail end of the campaign.

The Brazilian pointed to the moment when the Gunners lost the title, citing an injury to a teammate
He claimed an injury to William Saliba (far right) caused the collapse of the Gunners' title bid

“When he plays, we concede few goals, when he does not play, the number of (goals against) increases.”

The French defender had played nearly 14 minutes of the Gunners’ title fight ahead of a Europa League clash with Sporting in March, keeping 12 clean sheets and losing just three times in the competition.

After spending successive seasons on loan in Ligue 1, he began turning heads with confident displays at the heart of one of the meanest defenses in the division, as he showed more confidence on the ball than his years.

However, midway through the first half at the Emirates against the Portuguese side – who went on to win the match – he was taken off with a back problem that would see him miss the next 12 matches.

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Saliba’s impressive performances for the north London team have begun to attract the attention of other sides, with Paris Saint-Germain among those rumored to have his contract due to expire next summer.

But the 22-year-old allayed The Gunners’ fears by agreeing to a new long-term extension that will keep him at the club for another four years.

Fans will also have been encouraged to watch him train for pre-season, when stars Mikel Arteta returned to London Colney earlier this week.

The Frenchman has been doing light ball work on the training pitch as well as physical work in the gym as he prepares to return to full fitness.

Saliba did light technical work at London Colney as the pre-season kicked off
Arsenal would have reached full agreement with Ajax about defender Jurrien Timber

His return to action could see him find himself alongside a new defensive partner, with the club linked with a transfer to Ajax’s Jurrien Timber.

The Dutch star piqued the interest of Manchester United last summer, but now seems determined to join the Gunners in their bid to take things a step further next season.

Saliba partnered Gabriel Magalhaes overall in the 2022-23 season, but with a return to the Champions League on the horizon, it looks like Arteta is eager to strengthen at the back, perhaps to avoid another debilitating injury from avoid a key figure.

Arsenal have reportedly reached a £40 million deal with the Dutch club and hope to finalize transfers for both Timber and West Ham’s Declan Rice this week.

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