Europe discards Arsenal and Liverpool shift focus to EPL title race

LONDON (AP) — What will it take to win the English Premier League with six games remaining? That's easy — perfection.

Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool — all eliminated from their European competitions this week — are locked in a tight battle for the title.

Defending champion City leads both rivals by two points but with Pep Guardiola's team playing an FA Cup semifinal against Chelsea on Saturday, Arsenal and Liverpool can gain ground.

“If you want to be champion in the Premier League, you have to be close to perfection,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said on Friday ahead of a visit to Fulham on Sunday.

“Anything other than perfect, you have to deal with the setbacks in the best possible way. That’s what we are now doing. We had a setback week,” he said. “Now we have to start turning it around.”

Arsenal, too.

Mikel Arteta's team gets first crack at retaking the league lead when it visits Wolverhampton on Saturday.

Arsenal lost at home to Aston Villa 2-0 last Sunday and was eliminated from the Champions League by Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

“We don’t have to talk too much, it’s about showing against Wolves what we are made of to turn this situation around and it can look really positive,” Arteta said on Friday.

The second-place Gunners lead Liverpool on goal difference.

Like Arsenal, Klopp's team lost ground to City last Sunday by losing at home to Crystal Palace 1-0. That was days after a surprise 3-0 loss to Atalanta at Anfield in the Europa League quarterfinals. The Reds won the second leg 1-0 in Bergamo but were still knocked out.

“The boys know that I don’t tell them things which I don’t believe in, and I’m 100% sure we can really win all the football games we have from now on,” Klopp said.

“If we would win all of our games, yeah, there’s a good chance that we will be champion. If not, then there’s a good chance somebody else is there. Maybe we only have to win five or whatever. Nobody knows. Who would have thought that Arsenal lose against Aston Villa? It just happens.”

City, bounced from the Champions League by Real Madrid on Wednesday, doesn’t play a Premier League game again until Thursday at Brighton.


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