Weekend round-up: Arsenal hold firm to show top-four credentials
What a difference a few days can make. On Thursday night Arsenal suffered a glum 3-1 loss to Rennes, and were fearing the arrival of in-form Manchester United on Sunday.
But after a hard-fought 2-0 win over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, Unai Emery’s Gunners are buzzing once again.
And with both Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea failing to win, Arsenal’s top-four hopes were handed a major boost.
Our traders have seen fit to overhaul Arsenal’s top-four odds accordingly. The North Londoners are now 5/6 to land a Champions League spot, ahead of Chelsea and United.
Sunday’s win wasn’t perfect. United created plenty of good chances, but unlike in the final years under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal held their nerve when it mattered.
And it follows a trend shown under by the team Emery this season. The Gunners have taken points from all their big-six rivals apart from Manchester City this term. That’s a huge improvement when compared with recent seasons.
With just eight games to go, Arsenal are occupying that final Champions League spot, one point behind Spurs, two ahead of United and three ahead of Chelsea.
But crucially, Arsenal have now played all of their top six opponents twice. Spurs must still go to Liverpool and City, while United still have to play City and Chelsea.
It gives the Gunners a potentially crucial advantage – and inspiration – to go and reclaim a Champions League place for the first time in three seasons.
And they’ve got a chance to recuperate too. They play Rennes in the second leg of their round-of-16 Europa League clash this Thursday, but don’t play another Premier League fixture this month.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing