By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Arsenal should be “whipped” if they fail to win the Premier League title this season.

The former Manchester United defender gave his humorous verdict in the wake of a disappointing goal-less draw between Leicester and Manchester City on Tuesday night.

The result gives Arsene Wenger’s team the upper hand in the title race, a point emphasised by Ferdinand on Twitter immediately afterwards.

He wrote: “Leicester City seem disappointed with a point here…if Arsenal don’t win the league this yr (sic) they need whipping with dry/hot leather sandals!”

Arsenal will start 2016 at the Premier League summit, although they are only ahead of second-placed Leicester on goal difference.

City, whose away form compares unfavourably with their results at Etihad Stadium, are three points adrift of the pacesetters in third place.

Wenger’s side bounced back from their 4-0 Boxing Day thrashing at Southampton with a convincing 2-0 triumph over Bournemouth on Monday night, as Mesut Ozil continued his brilliant form by creating one goal and scoring the other.