Declan Rice throws down Arsenal title gauntlet amid Liverpool, Tottenham and Man City race

Arsenal will need to bounce back to be involved in the Premier League title race after defeat to Fulham, with Declan Rice coming out firing after the loss at Craven Cottage

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice has thrown down the gauntlet in the title race, calling on his team to improve going forwards following their defeat to Fulham on Sunday. It continues a run of five games with only one win for the Gunners, which has been a huge blow to their hopes of winning the Premier League.

Bukayo Saka opened the scoring in the first ten minutes, following up on a rebound from Gabriel Martinelli’s curling effort. The north London outfit would have hoped to continue that early start to the match, with another goal required to take full control of the tie, but that never came.

Instead, it fell the way of the home side as Raul Jimenez found his way onto the end of a cross to bring the game level once again. The Whites continued to push on, capitalising on the poor defending from a corner as Bobby De Cordova-Reid poked home the eventual winner.

It left the Gunners in fourth heading into the new year, knowing that it will be an uphill task to turn things around and top the table once again. Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Aston Villa are all amongst the race as well, making for an intense race in the coming months.

Rice has thrown down the gauntlet to his teammates and rivals as he told Sky Sports: “Very disappointing. It’s very tough to take and not good enough from us again today. The last two results have not been what has been required or we have been setting over the course of the season. We have been performing well up until the last two games, especially off the back of the draw against Liverpool, we felt we could kick on but with two defeats, it’s a tough one to swallow

On how far the side are from the top, he adds: “To be honest, I don’t really look at the table. There are a lot of media who talk and say Arsenal are going to win the league this year and we are better this year, but we don’t get involved in that. We just try to take everything as it comes, one by one.

“We’ve been doing really well, we have been at the top of the table and that is where we want to be, it’s a blip in the road but there is no time to panic. There are still so many games to go and we have to stay positive, there is no time to be negative. We have a great manager, great players and we will keep going.”

It remains to be seen whether Arsenal can turn things around, with a two-week break in league action, as an FA Cup clash against Liverpool awaits.

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