Ikpeba – Why Arsenal Failed To Overtake Tottenham In EPL Top Four Race

Ikpeba – Why Arsenal Failed To Overtake Tottenham In EPL Top Four Race
Ikpeba – Why Arsenal Failed To Overtake Tottenham In EPL Top Four Race

Victor Ikpeba, a former Super Eagles striker, claims Arsenal wasted their chances of qualifying in the Champions League places after losing three consecutive games in April, including a six-pointer to Tottenham.

Next season, Arsenal will compete in the Europa League, while Tottenham will compete in the Champions League.

After 38 matches, Mikel Arteta’s squad finished fifth, one point behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

“Arsenal had a chance to be in the top four, they didn’t take their chances,” Ikpeba stated on SuperSport’s Monday Night Football.

“It was in Arsenal’s hands if they hadn’t lost three in a row, they later lost two, notably to bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur.”

Arteta’s side needed to overcome Frank Lampard’s side and hope Tottenham lost at already relegated Norwich, but Spurs’ 5-0 win at Carrow Road meant Arsenal missed out on a top 4 spot for the sixth consecutive season.

Gabriel Martinelli hammered home a penalty when his effort touched Alex Iwobi’s arm, with the spot-kick awarded after a video assistance referee assessment midway through the first half.

On 31 minutes, Eddie Nketiah headed in a corner to increase the hosts’ lead, before Everton substitute Donny van de Beek side-footed in his final game for the club.

It was only a temporary reprieve, as two second-half goals in three minutes put the game out of reach. Cedric Soares slotted home from a corner, and Gabriel poked home after Everton had cleared the area.

Arsenal finished fifth, two points behind Tottenham, with a late fifth goal from Martin Odegaard.

As the players took a circuit of the pitch to commemorate their return to the Europa League after missing out this season, their fans were in high spirits.

Arteta, though, expressed dissatisfaction with the achievement, stating that a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle on Monday had handed the key advantage.

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