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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Declan Rice says Arsenal have made ‘a hell of a comeback’ in title race but sounds run-in warning

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Declan Rice believes Arsenal’s free-scoring side are “really in our groove” after making a “hell of a comeback” in the title race in 2024.

Mikel Arteta’s team have won all seven of their Premier League games in 2024, scoring 31 goals, with Rice among those on target in Monday’s 6-0 thrashing of Sheffield United.

They could go top for the first time in the calendar year when they host Brentford on Saturday, a day before Liverpool face Manchester City. And Rice savoured the change in fortunes since Arsenal ended 2023 with back-to-back defeats and a solitary point from their last nine available.

“I think it has been a hell of a comeback since the Christmas period, when we lost two in a row,” he said.

When Arsenal exited the FA Cup to Liverpool in January, they had only scored twice in four games. Now they have become the first time in Premier League history to score at least five in three successive away matches. They were 5-0 up after 38 minutes at Bramall Lane in what Rice called “a beautiful first half”.

And the midfielder added: “I think now we are really in our groove and we are looking really threatening in front of goal.”

Arsenal have been racking up goals over the past few weeks

(Getty Images)

Arsenal were top for 248 days last season and Rice feels humility will be the key in the run-in against two tough rivals.

“If you look at the two other teams at the top, they don’t look like they are going to slip up anytime soon,” he said. “We have been in this position before and I think it is just, stay humble, wait for the games to come and attack them when the day arrives.”

Rice’s strike at Bramall Lane made this his most prolific campaign in the Premier League, with five goals already to add to his five assists.

And he has set his sights on contributing more in attack, explaining: “I want to keep scoring goals. There is no better feeling in the world than assisting and scoring. I am striving for more every day. I think I am on double figures now for the season, I think it is my best season. Listen, I want way more than what I’ve got at the minute.”

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