Arsenal risk losing focus if they pay Man City too much attention – David Raya

David Raya is relishing the pressure of the Premier League title race but has urged Arsenal to stay focused on their own job and not Manchester City’s run-in.

The Gunners ensured they would remain at the summit going into May with a 3-2 win at Tottenham on Sunday.

It briefly opened up a four-point gap at the top, but Pep Guardiola’s side cut it back to a solitary point with a 2-0 win away to Nottingham Forest later in the day.

City crucially have a game in hand over Arsenal, which is at Tottenham on May 14, but Raya laughed off suggestions they would support their rivals.

“I don’t want to focus on that. I just want to focus on the team, on us, and focus on next Saturday,” Raya said.

“We cannot focus on other teams because you lose your focus on yourself and you don’t start playing the same way.

“You have to focus on yourself and the team, on what you can control. If you focus on things that you cannot control, things are not going to go well.

“Every game is important and we have got three games. We have to think about the next game, which is Bournemouth at home.

“We just have to carry on with this momentum, try to get the three points on Saturday and we will see what happens in the end.

“I like challenges and I don’t feel under pressure. I feel like that when there is pressure, in the way that you say, it’s an opportunity to show what you are capable of. I am really, really enjoying this challenge.”

Raya had to show his character during the latter stages of Arsenal’s win at Tottenham after his poor pass gifted a 64th-minute goal to Cristian Romero.

Mikel Arteta’s team had taken control of the derby through efforts by Bukayo Saka and Kai Havertz, after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s own-goal, but Spurs set up a grand finale when Son Heung-min scored a penalty with three minutes left.

However, Raya stood firm to claim a number of crosses into his penalty area as Arsenal made it 12 league wins from 14 matches in 2024.

Raya added: “We had gained control until I made a mistake for the first goal.

“The last few minutes was a little bit more shaky for the people outside, but for us that’s our job.

“I really, really enjoyed that challenge to keep the ball out of the net and trying to help the team as much as possible on crosses. We showed great character collectively and it showed on the pitch.

“I thought I was mentally very strong and I just forgot about the mistake, carried on playing my game and tried to help the team.”

The focus for Arsenal now switches to the visit of Bournemouth on Saturday before a trip to Manchester United on May 12th.

“It is massive winning this game, especially as it’s the north London derby. I know what it means to the fans, to the club, to the players and it’s incredible,” Raya said.

“You have to win away games to be able to push for the title and I think we are showing that.

“We just have to focus on ourselves now, rest well and prepare for the next game.”


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