Champions League qualification on a knife edge
Arsenal, Chelsea & Tottenham are all eyeing a place in next season's Champions League
The race to secure a top four place will go right down to the wire, following Chelsea’s one nil victory over Manchester United.
Juan Mata’s eighty sixth minute strike was enough to move the Blues into third in the league, above London rivals Arsenal, putting them in pole position to secure a Champions League place.
Both Arsenal and Tottenham, sitting in third and fifth respectively prior to Chelsea kicking off, were hoping for a favour from United. However it wasn’t to be and the Blues picked up a vital victory.
If Chelsea were to win their fixture against Tottenham on Wednesday night, they will virtually secure a place in Europe next season; due to their superior goal difference. However if Spurs were to win, they would replace rivals Arsenal in fourth place.
All three teams can still qualify for Europe but equally they can all still miss out. Were Chelsea to lose on Wednesday night, It would give Spurs the advantage, whilst an ideal result for Arsenal would be a draw. This would put them in the strongest position going into the final two games.
The Gunners have played a game more than both Chelsea and Tottenham, but appear to have the easier run-in with their last two games being at home to Wigan and away to Newcastle United. Chelsea have the crucial fixture at home to Spurs, followed by a visit to Aston Villa, before finishing their season against Everton. Spurs on the other hand face a tricky fixture away to Stoke City before ending against Sunderland who are still embroiled in a relegation battle.
One thing is for sure, the battle for the top four is possibly the closest it has ever been. All three teams still have the situation in their hands but Wednesday’s fixture involving Spurs and Chelsea is pivotal.
The likelihood is that the loser of that game will be the one to miss out; which could have massive implications on next season.
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