Arsenal’s fate now in their own hands

 
With Chelsea and Tottenham playing to a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Wed. May 8, Arsenal can now guarantee themselves a spot in next season’s European Champions League by winning their remaining two games. If they do this, they can wrap up at least fourth place in the English Premier League table as Spurs won’t be able to catch them.

Each team now has two games to go in the season. Manchester City sits in second place in the standings with 75 points followed by Chelsea in third with 69, Arsenal in fourth with 67 and Spurs in fifth place with 66 points. If Man City lost both of their games and Chelsea won their last two, Chelsea would take second place on goal difference since they’re plus 34 at the moment with City at plus 31.

Arsenal could still catch Chelsea if they make up the two-point difference. Chelsea’s current goal difference is three better than the Gunners, so all goals would be crucial. With Spurs a point behind Arsenal, they couldn’t catch the Gunners if Arsenal wins both of their games. However, if Spurs win both and Arsenal loses or draws one of their remaining fixtures, Spurs will pass them for the last Champions League spot.

If they both end up even on points, Arsenal would likely take the spot as their goal difference is 13 better than Tottenham’s. In addition, Tottenham and Arsenal could both pass Chelsea if Rafael Benitez’s squad dropped points. So as you can see, the picture isn’t exactly clear, but what the Chelsea and Spurs draw did do was enable Arsenal to control their own destiny in the standings.

Manchester City is away to the already-relegated Reading on Tues. May 14 and at home to relegation-threatened Norwich on May 19.  Chelsea takes on relegation-threatened Aston Villa on the road on Sat. May 11 and winds up the season at home on May 19 against Everton. Arsenal is at home to relegation-threatened Wigan on May 14 and will finish the season away against another relegation-threatened club in Newcastle United on May 19.

Tottenham may have the easiest schedule on paper as they’re away to Stoke this Sun. May 12 and at home to Sunderland on the final day of the season on May 19. Stoke can be caught by Wigan on points, but since they have a better goal difference of 13 it’s unlikely Wigan will be able to catch them. At the moment, Sunderland could still be caught by Wigan and relegated. Of course, these scenarios could all change by the time the season finales take place.

At Stamford Bridge on May 8, Oscar put Chelsea ahead of Spurs after just 11 minutes. Former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor leveled the score after 26 minutes, but Ramires put the home side in the lead once again six minutes before half time. It was Chelsea up 2-1 when the teams went into the break. However, Gylfi Sigurdsson drew Spurs level again in the 80th minute and that’s how the up-tempo game ended.

Arsenal has their work cut out for them with two tough games to go and can’t afford to slip up in either of them. If things go according t plan, the club will be in the Champions League once again next season.   

 


From Peterborough, just about 60 minutes from Arsenal's ground. I remember going to Highbury when growing up and after my Uncle's stepson Mark Heeley joined the Gunners from Peterborough when he was just 17 back in the 1970s. Currently cover sports (mainly football, boxing, and ice hockey) for various sites and magazines. Still see most of the games when in Canada. In fact, they get more EPL matches there than in Britain.