Arsenal are desperate to salvage their top-four ambitions
The Premier League’s top-four race has always been interesting but this season’s is expected to go down to the wire. Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are all in contention for a Champions League spot, with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea already locking down the top three positions.
Of the four teams battling for the final Champions League spot, each has occupied the fourth position at some point during the course of the season and dropped off when it mattered most.
Tottenham currently lead the rest of the pack but a few weeks ago, Arsenal were in that position, only to sabotage their chances by losing three league matches on the bounce.
Gunners blowing away their advantage
There was a time when the Gunners sat in fourth position and also had three matches in hand over their top-four rivals. Winning those games would have strengthened their claim for Champions League football next season.
However, Mikel Arteta’s side consistently blew away their chance to return to Europe’s flagship inter-club competition by unnecessarily dropping points.
Arsenal have now lost each of their last three Premier League matches and four of their last five. This is certainly not acceptable for a team that wants to qualify for the Champions League.
These defeats will come back to haunt the Gunners as they prepare for a tougher run of matches, starting with a huge test against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Arsenal now underdogs in top-four race
Arsenal had their destiny in their hands but they capitulated and allowed their rivals to catch up. The Gunners are now underdogs in the top-four race.
Per their current form, they are the weakest among the teams competing for a Champions League place and also have the most difficult games to come, as compared to Manchester United and Tottenham.
“This club it’s only about winning, and they were three different games, but with the same outcome,” Arteta admitted, as quoted by Arsenal.com.“We are extremely unsatisfied with that, we know that, we’re hurting, but at the same time we know how we lost and what we merited from those games are not reflected in the amount of points that we have taken.“We have to understand why we lost those games as well, but there is nothing to look back on. Everything is still to play for, our ambition is still intact, our desire is still intact. We know the challenge ahead and we’re going to go for it.”
After Chelsea, the Gunners have other difficult matches against Manchester United, West Ham, Leeds and Tottenham. Based on their recent disappointing performances, it is anybody’s guess how many points they’ll accrue from these tough games.