Arsenal needed to avoid a defeat to Nottingham Forest on matchday 37 to at the least keep its slim Premier League title hopes alive. In the end, Arsenal notched a 1-0 away loss on the day, as Manchester City was then officially crowned Premier League champions for the third straight season.
Arsenal did not have much to go its way over the course of the fixture. The Gunners ended up winning the possession battle with ease but logged a mere three shots on target against Nottingham Forest. An early goal from Taiwo Awoniyi was all that Nottingham Forest needed to not only clinch an upset win but also officially avoid relegation.
As noted by OptaJoe on Twitter, Arsenal led the Premier League table for an astounding 248 total days this season, which is the most for a team who failed to win the title in the history of English top-flight football.
248 – Arsenal led the Premier League table for 248 days in 2022-23, the most for a team who failed to win the title in English top-flight history. Agonising. pic.twitter.com/KR1E2DgjNS
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 20, 2023
During his post-match press conference, Arteta took some time to congratulate Manchester City for clinching this season’s Premier League title.
“Really sad day,” Arteta said. “A lot of difficult emotions. We lost the game, and we lost the championship after 10 and a half months fighting for it and nine and a half months almost on top of it. We built a lot of enthusiasm and belief that we could go all the way and win it.
“At the end, we fell short. First of all, congratulate Man City. They are the champions, they deserve to be champions. They’ve done it for 38 games. We haven’t been able to do that. That’s it. From my side apologize because we have generated that belief that we could do it and at the end, the team wasn't able to do it. That’s my responsibility.”
In the big picture, Arteta sees that Arsenal has simply struggled to finish off matches in the second half of this season.
“It started with what happened at Anfield in the 90th minute,” Arteta said. “Then you go to West Ham, and you put 3-1, and that's gonna change. We have conceded a lot of goals. We have given 16 goals away in those matches. It’s a lot. … In this league, you have to be exceptional with everything because there are no margins. That team doesn’t give you any margins.
“We have extended those margins too much, and that’s why we lost the league.”
Overall, Arsenal has dropped points in six out of its last eight league fixtures.
Arsenal will cap off its Premier League schedule with a home matchup against Wolverhampton on matchday 38.