Arsenal’s UEFA Champions League depend on one if not two London rivals, but neither will matter much if the Gunners cannot get out of their own way.
Unai Emery‘s men again lost a chance to buttress their Top Four hopes with a 1-1 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion, and now need one of two things to qualify for the UEFA Champions League:
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- A combined nine-goal swing in goal differential as Spurs lose on Sunday to Everton while Arsenal beat up on
- Winning the Europa League.
The latter is more likely, and Emery is focused on defeating Valencia and then either Eintracht Frankfurt or fellow London side Chelsea.
So don’t ask him about missing out on the Top Four. From Arsenal:
“It’s not the moment to talk about next season. I think we need to be strong and be together for next Thursday, which will be a big challenge for us in another competition in which we can do something important. We are going to try to do something. We are very, very disappointed. We spoke [before] the game to finish about our ambition and motivation to finish here with a victory and also to take our chances [to try] and finish fourth.”
Emery noted there’s a big hill to climb, but lots of steps along the way.
“If we are 27 points behind the leaders, that’s the difference. But we are going to work and build up our future.”
There’s also a big difference between what Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have built at Man City and Liverpool, especially given the massive spends from both that few others can match, but the patience shown to their world class managers.