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Arsenal 1 - Brighton & Hove Albion 1 match report: sunk

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It just wasn’t good enough.

Arsenal FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Arsenal went out with a whimper. Today’s home draw with Brighton & Hove Albion effectively ends the Gunners’ chances at finishing in the top four. Technically, if Spurs lose, Arsenal win, and those two results make up an 8-goal difference, Arsenal will finish fourth. But that isn’t going to happen.

On a day when they had to win to keep their top four hopes alive, the Gunners could not manage an open-play goal at home against 17th place Brighton. Read that sentence again. It’s a damning indictment of the state of the club.

Arsenal had 71% of the possession, took 20 shots, 8 on target, and despite all that, only forced one top quality save out of Brighton keeper Matthew Ryan. The best chance of the match, a wide-open volley that fell to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, was shockingly put wide. It was a variation on a familiar, unwelcome theme: Arsenal lacking ideas and creativity in the final third.

The Gunners have managed only 4 points from the last 18 on offer. A few weeks ago, they controlled their top four destiny, and Spurs, Chelsea, and Manchester United were dropping points left and right. A string of results would have had Arsenal comfortably qualified for the Champions League next season. Instead, the team wilted.

The silver lining of Arsenal’s horrendous run of form to close out the Premier League season is that they still can qualify for the Champions League. They just have to not blow a 3-1 lead to Valencia on Thursday and then win the final in Baku on the 29th.