Arsenal manager Unai Emery has urged his players not to look at the Premier League table as the season starts to draw to a close.
The Gunners are currently embroiled in a four-way battle to occupy the remaining to spots in the Premier League top four with Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester United.
Top-four race is on: Five things you need to know…
- Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in the Premier League top four have taken a hit due to their poor recent form.
- The Gunners have lost their last three league games, conceding three in each of the matches.
- There are now just two games remaining with Arsenal sitting two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
- And Unai Emery has urged his team to focus on their football rather than looking at the table.
- Arsenal could also secure a Champions League spot through the Europa League, with the Gunners currently in the semi-finals.
Arsenal are in terrible form having conceded nine goals in their last three outings, losing 3-2, 3-1 and 3-0 to Crystal Palace, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City respectively.
Speaking to reporters after their poor result against the Foxes, Arsenal boss Emery discussed the key moment of the game – Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ first-half red card – while insisting that it is best that his side shouldn’t pay attention to the Premier League table.
Emery said: “Today the condition [for losing] is the red card.
“We worked, we prepared our game plan, 11 v 11 the match was going like we prepared.
“For me the first yellow card for [Maitland-Niles] is not for me, it has affected our game plan a lot. One player less is difficult.
“We will continue, we will not look at the table, the Europa League is a big motivation for us to win it.”
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Back door pass to the big leagues?
Arsenal’s top-four run-in couldn’t exactly be going any worse at present with the only joy found in rival teams also dropping points in recent weeks.
Unlike Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have the chance to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a different route entirely.
The Gunners face La Liga giants Valencia this week in the Europa League semi-finals at the Emirates Stadium, knowing that they are just three games away from winning the competition and getting their names in the Champions League hat for next year.
Getting past Valencia will not be easy for Emery’s side who may come face-to-face with Chelsea in the Europa League final should the Blues make it past Eintracht Frankfurt in their own semi-final.
The hunt continues…