Paul Merson tips Arsenal for title and pinpoints 'defining' moment of season
Arsenal came from two goals behind to beat Bournemouth in an exhilarating Premier League clash on Saturday
Arsenal will win the Premier League title if they can take maximum points from their next three games, according to former Gunner Paul Merson.
Mikel Arteta’s side maintained their five-point lead at the summit of the standings on Saturday in the most extraordinary of fashions.
The north London side were 2-0 down at home to Bournemouth with half an hour remaining, but fought back to draw level before Reiss Nelson scored a superb 96th-minute winner (opens in new tab) with the last kick of the game.
With 12 games remaining, Arsenal have the advantage over Manchester City and two-time title winner Merson believes upcoming league games away to Fulham and at home to Crystal Palace and Leeds United could be decisive.
"I think they win the league," Merson told Sky Sports.
"They just keep on going and don't know when they're beaten. It's four on the trot and you've got to remember the roll they were on before they started winning those games.
"They went 1-0 down at Villa after 10 minutes when they hadn't won for three games, had just been well beaten by Man City and they bounced back.
"They've been brilliant and the next three games will be defining for me. If they win them, I don't see how they don't win it.”
It is uncharted territory for Arteta’s young side as Arsenal look to win the Premier League for the first time in 19 years.
A 3-1 defeat to City in mid-February saw them briefly drop into second place, but they bounced back with four wins in a row and now face a Europa League last 16 clash away to Sporting CP on Thursday.
"Bournemouth probably had the better chances at stages. They didn't pick the right pass when they counter-attacked. They'll be devastated in the dressing room,” Merson added.
"But what I like about Arsenal is they keep on going, they pen you in.
“When the ball goes in the box, there aren't too many players in the box, they're more all out of the box to keep them pressed in, then the ball comes out and they go again. It was relentless."
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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.