Arsenal closed out the 2018-2019 season with a comfortable 3-1 road victory at Burnley. Meanwhile, both Tottenham and Chelsea finished the campaign with draws, versus Everton and Leicester respectively. The race for the top four was over and it was Arsenal on the outside looking in.
The fact that the Gunners missed out on automatic Champions League inclusion by just one measly point is probably causing many supporters to go through the what ifs, if only and could have beens.
Here are the ones that stick out and would have made this a less anxiety filled two month stretch.
- Arsenal put in one of their worst performances of the season in early April versus Everton at Goodison Park. The Gunners had easily dispatched the Liverpool side in their last two meetings, but on this day, they didn’t even show up. They were out shot 23-7 and it was weak defending that allowed Phil Jagielka to score the game’s only goal.
- The April swoon continued when Arsenal hosted Crystal Palace at the Emirates on the 21st. This is probably the exact day that any chance of fourth was officially dead. It was typical Arsenal with 73% of the possession but with little to show for it. In the end, the Eagles took all three points and gave the Gunners only their second home loss of the season.
- Three days later Arsenal put in another poor performance away to Wolves. Unai Emery’s side had 70% of the ball but mistakes were again their downfall. It was another three points dropped and a 3-1 loss.
- A trip to Leicester only added to Arsenal’s April problems. Ainsley Maitland-Niles received his marching orders in the 36th minute and the Gunners were out shot by the Foxes 24-6 in a 3-0 beating.
- In early May the Gunners hosted Brighton at the Emirates. What should have been a comfortable stroll in the park turned in to a deflating draw. Arsenal had most of the play but couldn’t put the game away.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is class and no one can ever accuse him of not giving it his all. However, one memory that will eat away at Gunner’s fans for a while is his missed penalty back in March versus Spurs. In a 1-1 match the striker stepped to the line in the 89th minute to give his side the lead and what would have been a famous victory. Unfortunately, he missed, and we all know what came after that.
Despite not finishing in the top four, Arsenal still have a chance, in Baku, to make next season’s Champions League. Hopefully they can defeat Chelsea on May 29th and these what ifs will not be as painful.