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Gary Neville names six Arsenal stars who answered ‘two big questions’ vs Man City | Football

Gary Neville heaped praise on Arsenal’s efforts (Picture: Sky Sports)

Gary Neville was full of praise for several Arsenal players after they answered key questions about their title credentials in their 0-0 draw with Manchester City.

Sunday’s goalless draw meant Arsenal remain one point clear of Pep Guardiola’s side after a solid defensive display saw them become the first side to keep a clean sheet at the Etihad since October 2021.

The wheels came off Arsenal’s title charge last season when they lost 4-1 at the Etihad in April but a much-improved display this year leaves them just two points off leaders Liverpool with nine games remaining.

The display earned the plaudits of Sky Sports’ Gary Neville who highlighted the impressive mentality of Mikel Arteta’s side to banish the demons of last year’s result.

‘I think they answered two big questions today,’ Neville said on Sky Sports. ‘One is on their mentality. Could they live in a big game against Manchester City?

‘They folded here last year and they were all over the place, whereas today they withstood a lot of pressure and looked like a team that could go through a title challenge and have a lot more mental strength. That’s a big question answered, because it’s difficult to come here.

William Saliba of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal FC at Etihad Stadium

William Saliba was wared man of the match for his defensive display (Picture: Getty)

The former Manchester United full-back also heaped praise on the Gunners’ defensive organisation and, in particular, the efforts of Arsenal’s centre-back duo and attacking quartet.

‘The other one obviously is the defensive side of things,’ he added. Last year without [William] Saliba they were harmed and that has been proven today.

‘To me today Saliba was immense, so was Gabriel [Magalhaes], and the work ethic of the two wide players and two forwards was incredible.

‘They really ganged up on Haaland – it was a classic ‘one go tight, the other drop off’, old-fashioned tactic. But they had a lot of players around them that enabled them to do that. They had the full-backs narrow and tight, they had the midfield compact with them.

‘The two wide players tucked in and did a really good job, and then they had the two forward players, [Kai] Havertz and [Martin] Odegaard, when it was needed as well.

‘When you’re playing against a world-class player, don’t be embarrassed to think you need to double up. That’s what [Gabriel] Jesus did. Jesus got [Jakub] Kiwior out of a lot of trouble today. He was having a bit of a difficult game early on.

‘Jesus was right next to him. [Bukayo] Saka next to Ben White. They did a great job collectively.’

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