MIKEL ARTETA furiously apologizes to Arsenal fans after giving up the title scarf.
A 3-0 home defeat by Brighton means Manchester City will be crowned champions if the Gunners lose their next game at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Gutted Arteta said: “I hate the feeling of letting people down when they’re expecting something. This is the biggest regret and I have to apologize for it.
“Second place is safe and that won’t change, but it will take me a few days to digest this result.
“My job is to get the best out of every single player and I obviously didn’t do that today so it’s my responsibility.”
“What the team has accomplished over the past ten months is very different from what anyone expected and we need to figure out how to live up to those expectations.”
“We fought really hard to get to that position but when you’re in a critical moment like this you can’t do what we managed to do in the second half.
“Now we have to see if this team is capable of making it on the biggest stage.
“Given the level required to compete for the Premier League title and compete in the Champions League, there are a lot of things to consider and analyze because a feat like that cannot happen.”
“Last Sunday we were so proud of the way we won at Newcastle and today is the complete opposite.
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“There were a lot of interruptions today. There were 30 fouls and the game had no flow. But we didn’t capitalize on our big moments, lost a lot of tackles and conceded some really bad goals.
“And after Brighton’s second goal we had no answers. That’s the reality.”
Even if Arsenal win the two remaining games, City will still win the league if they beat Chelsea at home next Sunday.
And captain Martin Odegaard admitted: “It feels like there is no hope. I don’t think City will make too many mistakes now.
“We have to be honest, it’s going to be very difficult now. It’s a big disappointment and hard to take.
“We’ve done a lot of good this season, but we didn’t want it to end like this.
“Right now I don’t have any answers but we have to accept it, learn from it and make sure we keep improving.”
Goals from Julio Enciso, Deniz Undav and Pervis Estupinian were enough to put Brighton in sixth place and coach Roberto de Zerbi said: “I’m very happy with the performance.” We deserved the win and I’m really happy and proud of these players.
“Now we have 58 points, but that’s not enough to qualify for Europe. We still have four tough games ahead of us, but we deserve to play in Europe next season.
“We want to be a bigger team than we are now and that’s the most important part of the mentality. That’s why we have to completely forget about this result now, otherwise we’ll lose our next game against Newcastle 100 percent.”
Goalscorer Undav revealed that De Zerbi showed his players a video of Michael Jordan to motivate them ahead of this game.
But De Zerbi laughed: “Undav talks too much. I don’t like basketball, but I love the mentality of the great champions in any sport.”