Why Manchester City derby win is bad news for Arsenal

Manchester City's win at Manchester United could be bad news for Arsenal, and it's down to one man - Robin van Persie.

Any Arsenal fans taking pleasure in Robin van Persie failing to score once again as Manchester United lost 2-1 to Manchester City may want to think again.

Because a fate far worse than they could have imagined at the start of the season could be about to come around and bite them, in the very shape of the Dutchman.

The simple reason is down to a combination of the fixture list and mathematics, which gives Van Persie a strong chance of winning the Premier League at the Emirates on April 28.

United are currently 12 points ahead of Manchester City despite the loss in last night's fixture - and when the Red Devils rock up at the Emirates at the end of the month, it will be the fourth to last game of the season.

This means there will be just 12 points to play for, if the present gap remains, a draw or loss away to Arsenal will be enough to clinch a 20th league title for United.

Just in a similar way to the pain inflicted on United when Sylvain Wiltord scored that goal in 2002, it's doubtful Sir Alex Ferguson would pass up an opportunity for such retribution - and Robin van Persie would no doubt be a central figure.

The Dutchman left Arsenal in the summer to enhance his chances of winning a medal, and he looks set to be proved right just a season after joining Manchester United.

This much seems inevitable, but Arsenal fans certainly don't want the ignominy of watching the striker realise his goal right in front of them.

This is why City's win last night is certainly bad news for the Gunners, for had United kept their lead at 15 points, or extended it to 18 - the chances are they could have wrapped up the title ahead of the game at the Emirates.

While perhaps this will spare Arsenal the ultimate humiliation of providing a guard of honour for Van Persie, Arsenal would certainly rather be facing an under-strength United in three weeks time, one in victory mode - rather than a hungry, determined and motivated team - who could damage their own top four ambitions.

image: © cactusbeetroot

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