Arsenal top four comeback?

Gunners beat Boro to revive CL qualification hope

dailycannon.com

Will Arsenal miss out on a top 4 finish this season?

The simple answer is that they probably are, but there are still enough games left for the Gunners to make a late charge and, for those who like a punt, it is worth checking out Big Free Bet's spread bets for all the odds and markets available in their battle toward the end of the season.

The worrying thing for the north Londoners is that they do not look like winning against a decent side at present, with five defeats in the past eight Premier League games, and their only successes in recent times have come against Hull City, West Ham, and 19th-placed Middlesbrough.

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Middlesbrough 1-2 Arsenal: Gunners revive hope for Champions League qualification

It's been a disappointing season for Arsenal, both at home and in Europe, with the Gunners struggling to secure their 18th consecutive qualification for the Champions League. The last time they failed to make the top four in the Premier League was in 1996, when they finished fifth in the table.

With the place in Europe meant to reflect the best teams in England, Arsenal have not been living up to that standard, failing to win an away game since February. Their humiliating 3-0 defeat against Crystal Palace last week was the first time Arsene Wenger suffered four straight away Premier League defeats in his 20 years at the club.

They managed to redeem themselves on Easter Monday, recording a 2-1 win against relegation contenders Middlesbrough at Riverside.

A dull first half was livened up by a sublime free kick from Alexis Sanchez on the 41st minute. Brad Guzan had no chance as he was left flat-footed by the Chilean's perfectly measured goal, lifting over the wall and dipping under the crossbar at the right time.

It's no surprise that Boro are second from bottom with shocking statistics to their name: they have failed to win a single game in 2017 and they have the lowest goalscorers in the top four divisions.

When the teams returned in the second half, however, they tried to prove they were no pushovers. Arsene Wenger introduced three central defenders at the back to tactically shake things up for the Gunners. However, they looked unsteady and Middlesbrough looked to capitalise on this.

Stewart Downing looked like a player 10 years younger than his age with a bursting run down the wing. The 32-year-old crossed the ball to Alvaro Negredo who managed to poke it home on the 50th minute.

With 19 minutes left to play, Mesut Ozil, who in truth had a poor game, hit the ball the first time at the near post to win the game for Arsenal. A Sanchez cross was chested down by Aaron Ramsey into the German's direction, who volleyed it in calmly.

According to FiveThirtyEight's predictor, Arsenal have a 5 per cent chance of qualifying for the Champions League - with fifth placed Manchester United at slightly better odds with 17 per cent. Considering the unlikely winners of last year's Premier League, it is perhaps not wise to rely on the odds to forecast the end result.

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