Arsenal suffered a damaging 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa at the Emirates on Sunday evening, dropping behind new Premier League leaders Manchester City with just six games left.
After the clinical win away at Brighton, Arsenal got sucked into an emotional, chaotic game against Villa after Liverpool's earlier home loss to Crystal Palace.

The first half was an exciting attacking display, with the Gunners creating several good chances including a near tap-in for Leandro Trossard, but they could not maintain that after the break.

Arsenal have been a tight ship at the back all season, restricting opponents to very limited chances in most games they play.

But as Aston Villa remained resolute at the back themselves and started to put pressure on going forward, more and more mistakes kept creeping in both on the ball and off it. 

It was a very uncharacteristic performance based on what we’ve seen this season. Villa were good but Arsenal have typically had an answer when challenged by good sides.

Yet on Sunday they showcased the naivety that cost them in last season’s run-in. 

The chaos was typified by Oleksandr Zinchenko.

His inclusion almost always gives the team a greater foothold on the ball at the expense of costing chances on the defensive end, and as Villa ramped up the pressure, his performance, much like the whole team’s got more chaotic.

One of Mikel Arteta’s main struggles as a coach has often been the use of his squad and substitutes, and while there’s no doubt he’s improved in that area, as Sunday’s game started slipping away, he seemed to have no answer, leaning further into chaos which ultimately cost Arsenal the game.

It leaves Arsenal on the back foot in the title race and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the defending champions win every game between now and the end of the season.

But for now it’s only a two-point game which is recoverable if City were to slip.
After a midweek trip to Germany for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich, poised at 2-2, Arsenal travel to 11th-placed Wolves on Saturday (7.30pm).

Wolves have been a tricky side all season but the league table situation demands an Arsenal win, as staying in the race and hoping for a City slip-up has to be the plan now.