How Arsenal can still qualify for Champions League

Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez-inspired victory over Sunderland keeps alive their slim hopes of a top-four finish, but results elsewhere mean the Gunners cannot rely merely on themselves to secure Champions League football next season.

Arsene Wenger’s side were hoping for a favour from West Brom, who put up a stubborn fight against champions Chelsea in their last outing, but Manchester City emebrged as comfortable winners and maintain their three-point advantage.

With just one round of matches to go, Arsenal’s chances of finishing in the top four look bleak to say the least.

Current Premier League positions and fixtures

3. Man City – 75pts + 37GD – Watford (a)
4. Liverpool – 73pts +33GD – Middlesbrough (h)
5. Arsenal – 72pts – +31GD – Everton (h)

But there is still (some) hope yet!

There are several possibilities that could see them reach Europe’s premier competition once again, some of which we will take a look at below…

Option 1 – Catch City

In this scenario, Arsenal must win against Everton and hope City lose in their final match away to Watford.

In the unlikely event City were to slip up, Arsenal would also need a seven-goal swing in goal difference, with City currently way ahead.

Example results and final tally

Example results needed:Arsenal 5-0 Everton
Watford 2-0 Man City

Final tally

4. Arsenal – 75pts +36GD
5. Man City – 75pts +35GD

Arsenal currently have a goal difference of +31, while City’s is +37, so either Arsenal would need to win big or City lose badly – or both!

Option 2 – Leapfrog Liverpool

The simplest scenario of all, if Arsenal win against Everton and Liverpool lose or draw against Middlesbrough, the Gunners will qualify for the Champions League.

Option 3 – Pip Liverpool on goal difference/goals scored

t’s also possible for Arsenal to reach the top four without having to win their final match.

Should Liverpool lose to Middlesbrough, Arsenal would only require one point and a two-goal swing.

Example results and final tally

Example results needed:Arsenal 2-2 Everton
Liverpool 0-2 Middlesbrough

Final tally

Liverpool – 73pts +31GD & 75GF
Arsenal – 73pts + 31GD & 76GF

In this scenario, both teams would be tied on points and goal difference, but Arsenal would qualify thanks to their marginally higher goals scored figure.

A goalless draw, however, would not be sufficient unless Liverpool lose by three or more goals.

Option 4 – End-of-season play-off

Incredibly, it’s still not beyond the realms of possibility that Arsenal and Liverpool could all end up on exactly the same number of points, having scored the same number of goals and having equal goal difference – City’s win over West Brom, though, means they are no longer part of this equation.

Example results and final tally

Example results needed:Arsenal 1-1 Everton
Liverpool 0-2 Middlesbrough

Final tally

Liverpool – 73pts +31GD & 75GF
Arsenal – 73pts + 31GD & 75GF

Obviously, it’s quite unlikely that this situation would arise but if it was to, Arsenal and Liverpool would have to compete in an end-of-season play-off at a neutral venue to decide which of them is higher in the standings.

Stranger things have happened…



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