The race for the final Champions League place in the Premier League is over. At least that’s according to Sky Sports analysts Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville.
Arsenal’s hopes of claiming fourth spot all but went up in smoke on Monday night as they produced a limp display to lose 2-0 at Newcastle United. And in so doing go into the final weekend of the Premier League season trailing their north London rivals Tottenham by two points.
They can still qualify for the Champions League, but Spurs travel to already relegated Norwich City on Sunday only needing to pick up a point because of their superior goal difference. Arsenal have to hope Spurs lose and they themselves have to beat Everton at the Emirates Stadium to finish fourth.
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And Carragher says “no one in world football” believes that is going to happen. He said on Monday Night Football: “Spurs aren’t losing from that position, they’ll know right now, the players sat on the pitch, the scenes, the fans in the away end, there isn’t anybody in world football who believes Arsenal will have Champions League football next season, absolutely no chance.”
Neville backed up his work mate by saying: “They (Spurs) need a point. They’ve (Arsenal) not recovered from Thursday night [losing to Tottenham] and it’ll be a struggle for them to recover from tonight for Sunday. Either Everton will be free or safe or Everton will be desperate. Arsenal, it is a problem a real problem.”
A Ben White own goal and a strike from former Arsenal transfer target Bruno Guimaraes decided the match at St James’ Park. And Mikel Arteta admitted after the match that the Magpies deserved their win.
Carragher added: “I thought they were awful tonight. I’ve praised Mikel Arteta and this Arsenal side since I started at Sky, but I’m getting bored of saying the same things about Arsenal, I’m getting bored of it myself. I actually enjoyed this season, could get behind it, the fanbase almost got behind it, they weren’t going to be challenging for the biggest honours but they were building something and starting.
“That performance there was bad. That was almost bigger than a cup final for Arsenal, I thought they were poor first half but to play that poorly in the first half and produce that in the second half, it wasn’t acceptable. It wasn’t the result, it was the manner.”