On Monday night, Arsenal overcame ten-man Watford 1-0 at Vicarage Road courtesy of a goal from star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gunners cause was helped by the fact that Hornets captain Troy Deeney received a red card early on.
The victory saw Unai Emery’s team moved back up to fourth spot, in what is fast becoming an extremely tight race for the lucrative Champions League places. There are now just three points between third place Tottenham and Manchester United in sixth. There is little to choose between Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United in the top four race.
Just had to win
Many Arsenal fans have complained about the performance of the team in the victory. However, at this point in time, the Gunners just had to take the three points by any means possible.
Considering the Gunners recent away form, any victory away from home is a welcome one, as it could easily have gone the other way were the team throw away more valuable points away from north London.
I doubt many will remember how the Gunners played at Watford if Emery’s team seal a top-four spot. I doubt many will even remember they beat the Hornets.
Good preparation for Napoli
In truth, with a trip to Naples to face Napoli on Thursday night in the Europa League quarter-final second leg looming, winning was the most important factor at Vicarage Road. It should send the Gunners into the vital European game in good spirits.
Arsenal were in good form prior to their woeful display at Everton. The win against Napoli in the first leg of the Europa League and Monday’s win hopefully gets the team back on track this season.
Two chances to seal a Champions League spot
The Gunners have a golden opportunity to seal a Champions League spot this season. Their top four position offers the chance for a return to Europe’s elite for next season, as does winning the Europa League. Hopefully the Gunners do not find a way to mess it up.
It would be great for Arsenal to win the Europa League. The Gunners are odds of 3/1 to lift the Europa League trophy, with only Chelsea shorter odds to win the competition this season.
There is not long until the end of the campaign. If Unai Emery guides the Gunners back into the Champions League this season then his debut campaign with the north London club must be considered a success.
Will Arsenal be playing Champions League football next season?