Aaron Ramsey challenges Arsenal to win their remaining Premier League games in order to secure top-four finish
The 3-0 defeat to Everton on Saturday has put the Toffees in the driving seat for Champions League qualification but Ramsey says Arsenal can still finish fourth if they win every game
Aaron Ramsey has set Arsenal the task of winning their remaining five Premier League games if they are to stand any chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League after Saturday’s 3-0 setback to top-four rivals Everton.
Goals from Steven Naismith, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas saw the Gunners slip to yet another heavy defeat in a match against their nearest rivals in the league, and they sit just a point above the Toffees having played a game more than the Merseyside club.
Everton face Sunderland on Saturday and now that they will move above the Gunners if they secure a draw or better, while Arsenal will be turning their attentions to the FA Cup as they take on holders Wigan Athletic at Wembley.
They will return to Premier League matters a week on Tuesday when they face West Ham, and as reported by the Evening Standard, Ramsey believes they must do their best to secure the remaining 15 points on offer.
“We have to put a strong run-in together now,” he said. “We have five League games left and we will aim to win them all to give us the best opportunity to finish fourth or higher. I think Everton still have a few difficult games but then again every game is difficult in this League.
“So many teams can upset each other so we will have to be aware of that, concentrate on ourselves and just play for the remaining 15 points.
“We were quite vulnerable on the counter-attack [against Everton] and they exploited the opportunities. We go into every game believing that we can win it and I thought we started the first 10 minutes quite positively, had a few attempts and got into dangerous positions but you can’t concede goals like that, the way we did.
“We will have to pick ourselves back up — there are a lot of points to be played for and we have the semi-final. We want to go on and win that.”
Ramsey came on after 66 minutes for his first appearance since Boxing Day due to a thigh injury and the midfielder is desperate to play an influential role in the run-in.
“It was very frustrating for me to be out for three months of the season when things were looking so good,” said Ramsey. “Hopefully, I can show what I can do, help this team achieve Champions League football again and, hopefully, have a medal at the end of the season.”
However, Everton forward Mirallas believes his side will beat the Gunners to fourth. He said: “There’s so much pressure on Arsenal now because things are in our hands. They are almost obliged to be in the Champions League, that’s what they do. They’ve qualified for years, but we are breathing down their necks.”
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