Arsenal can secure Champions League football next season without kicking another ball as pressure on Everton to beat Manchester City

Failure to beat City this Saturday would all but end Everton's top-four hopes while defeat would see them in a battle with Tottenham for fifth

Arsenal could qualify for the Champions League play-offs without kicking a ball following the 3-0 victory over Newcastle on Monday night, with the Gunners now leading Everton in the race for fourth place by four points with just two matches remaining.

Goals from Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Özil and Olivier Giroud saw Arsenal run out rather easy victors given that Newcastle never looked like threatening Wojciech Szczesny bar one Yoan Gouffran effort in the second half.

The result saw Arsene Wenger’s side take advantage of Everton’s slip-up after they suffered a 2-0 loss to Southampton on Saturday, and despite Roberto Martinez’s belief after the St Mary’s defeat that they were still in the still in the hunt for the Champions League, failure to win against Manchester City this weekend would all but end their interest in a return to the Champions League.

Having only finished fourth once in their Premier League history – under David Moyes in 2004-05 – the Toffees were knocked out in the play-off phase, meaning their quest to reach the Champions League group stage and join Europe’s elite remains unconquered. Under the guidance of Marintez who is in his first season with the Merseyside club having replaced Moyes, Everton looked to be on the verge of reaching Europe, especially when the run of five matches without a win saw the Gunners slip to fifth.

 

With Arsenal not set to play again until Sunday afternoon, Everton know that defeat against City the night before would end any chance of breaking into the top four, while a draw would leave them three points off but with an inferior goal difference of three goals.

Their task will be made that little bit harder in that they face a City side that finds itself with the Premier League title incentive once again, following Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Liverpool.

Read more: Cutting-edge Arsenal close in on fourth
Oxlade-Chamberlain could miss FA Cup final
Walcott may miss start of season

Manuel Pellegrini and his side know that victory in their final three matches – against Aston Villa, West Ham and firstly Everton – will see them regain the title, and with the Toffees losing two of their last three matches they are not in the best of form heading into the Goodison Park encounter.

Regardless of the result on Saturday, victory for Arsenal against West Brom would seal an 17th straight season in the Champions League, with Wenger never failing to qualify for Europe’s top competition since arriving at Arsenal in 1996.

Everton’s remaining fixtures:

Everton v Manchester City – Saturday 3 May, 17.30

Hull v Everton – Sunday 11 May, 15.00

Arsenal’s remaining fixtures:

Arsenal v West Brom – Sunday 4 May, 13.30

Norwich v Arsenal – Sunday 11 May, 15.00

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore