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.”
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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