Rio Ferdinand names the two reasons Arsenal are more likely to win the title than Liverpool


Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has been full of praise for Arsenal defenders William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes after yesterday's 1-0 victory over Brentford. Earlier in the day, Manchester City had drawn 1-1 with Liverpool, offering the Gunners the chance to go top if they could win in the evening, something they managed to do thanks to a late Kai Havertz winner.

The 24-year-old came off the bench with less than a quarter of an hour to go. But he wasted no time in getting involved, heading home a Bukayo Saka cross in the dying embers of the game, securing all three points for the visitors in the process.

After the match, former England international Ferdinand hailed Mikel Arteta's backline, namely centre-back pairing Saliba and Gabriel. Speaking about the duo, he told TNT Sports: "Me and [Peter] Crouchy were sitting here thinking about how good these two are, they want to be aggressive, they want to defend with that high line.

"They have the best defensive record in the league at the moment and Declan Rice is perfect in front of them in the middle at the moment. That little triangle is going to be key for them going forward and it's how they're going to be successful.

"In today's game having pace is how you get ahead of the other teams, especially at the back. It means you can play that high line and for the last two seasons, Brentford's attack has given teams so many problems.

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"[Ivan] Toney, [Yoane] Wissa and [Bryan] Mbeumo, they've all given teams nightmares because of their pace and aggressive run-ins. Today, one of them gets past Saliba - who is there to mop it up? Gabriel. He gives it back to Saliba and they work it out between them.

"To win anything, you have to have a centre-back pairing that you can trust. They're the reason why I put them above Liverpool in the title race and they're why they can challenge City this year."

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