Former Super Eagles forward, Victor Ikpeba has revealed that Arsenal squandered their chance of finishing in the Champions League positions after losing three successive defeats in April and losing a six-pointer to Tottenham.
Arsenal will play in the Europa League next season, while Tottenham will play in the Champions League.
Mikel Arteta’s side finished in the fifth position behind fourth-placed Tottenham after 38 games.
Speaking on SuperSport’s Monday Night Football, Ikpeba said, “Arsenal had a chance to be in the top four, they didn’t take their chances.
“If Arsenal had not lost three in a row, they later lost two including to their rivals Tottenham Hotspur, it was in the hands of Arsenal.”
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Recall that Arteta’s side needed to beat Frank Lampard’s men and hope Tottenham lost at already relegated Norwich, but Spurs’ 5-0 win at Carrow Road meant the Gunners missed out on a top four-spot for a sixth successive season.
The hosts took the lead midway through the first half as Gabriel Martinelli stroked home a penalty after his shot struck Alex Iwobi’s arm, with the spot-kick awarded after a video assistant referee check.
Eddie Nketiah nodded in following a corner to extend the hosts’ lead on 31 minutes, before substitute Donny van de Beek, in what is likely to be his last game for Everton, side-footed in.
It proved to be a short reprieve as two second-half goals in three minutes ended the game as a contest. Both came from corners as Cedric Soares slotted home, then Gabriel poked in after Everton had initially cleared.
Martin Odegaard added a late fifth as Arsenal finished in fifth place, two points behind Tottenham.
Their fans were in good spirits as the players did a lap of the pitch to mark their return to the Europa League after missing out this season.
But Arteta said he took no satisfaction from that achievement, with a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle on Monday having handed the crucial advantage.
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