Anyone concerned with either Arsenal or Man City will also have been a temporary fan of Norwich City this weekend, and not just in the hope of hearing a ‘tired and emotional’ Delia Smith drunkenly cajoling the Norwich fans with a microphone. If the Canaries had managed to take any points off Manchester United it would have almost ended their top four hopes for the season.
As it is, Louis van Gaal’s luck was in as Mata gave United a narrow win and that means that the pressure is still on us and City to keep going and pick up the points needed to make sure that United do not sneak in and claim the final Champions League place, but the question now is which of us will handle that pressure better?
This season the Gunners have not exactly thrived under pressure, as we let a five point lead at the top of the Premier League slip after christmas. However I do think that the expectation to push on and secure the title is a different pressure to holding on for a top four finish and that is something that Arsenal have always managed to do.
I also think that there were other circumstances hurting our title challenge, not least the terrible injury list that Arsene Wenger had to cope with. The Frenchman now has almost a full squad and another plus point for us is that we are three points closer to a UCL spot than City and with Aston Villa in the final game the players should not be too worried about messing up.
For me the pressure is much harder on City, especially after the disappointment of their Champions League exit. They have a few key injuries to contend with and Pellegrini and the players know how much it would hurt the City fans to be knocked out of the top four by their main local rivals.
So while a United win was not what we wanted to see, could it be a good thing for Arsenal in the end?