Arsenal 2 – 3 Crystal Palace: Top four chances take an unsuspected hit

I haven’t been able to blog for the last few weeks, but if I did, I would have been showering the team with compliments. Impressive back to back victories and clean sheets against Watford and Napoli invigorated my belief in the squad. I was supremely confident we would continue our strong home form and roll over Crystal Palace to put us in pole position for third place. However, we cracked under the weight of expectation and looked a shadow of the team we are used to seeing at the Emirates. With four games to go this loss puts us in a precarious position, but I’m still hopeful we can secure top four as luckily, there is not much between us, Chelsea and Manchester United. In true 18/19 fashion, every game is like a cup final.

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Arsenal 2 – 0 Newcastle: Emery matches last season’s points total with seven games to go

Monday night’s 2-0 victory against Newcastle took us to 63 points for the season, matching last season’s total. A fantastic achievement for Unai Emery, who has taken a disjointed and injury ravaged team to that tally with seven games still to play. Spurs managed to win their first game at their new stadium reclaiming third after we temporarily displaced them. However, victory at Everton this weekend would send us two points clear with six games to go. The Spaniard has us playing confidently and competitively, and on current form third is ours to lose.

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Arsenal 2 – 0 Manchester United: Players show character and grit to grab important win

It was probably a good thing I didn’t finish my piece on Friday morning. Like most fans, Thursday’s catastrophic 3-1 Europa League defeat to Rennes left me livid and I was in no fit state to be objective. To recover from that disastrous game and beat Manchester United 2-0 is testament to this squad’s blossoming character and hopefully signals Thursday was a blip. We have often failed to secure victory in must-win games against the big six, but this time we found a way. If we go on to pip Manchester United to fourth, it may be one of the most crucial six pointers in our history.

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Tottenham 1 – 1 Arsenal: Emery gets his tactics spot on, but that elusive away win still evades us

It wouldn’t be a North London derby without two penalties, dodgy decisions and a red card. Like most fans, I would have taken a draw before kick-off, but with Aubameyang missing a penalty, and the linesman failing to flag Kane for offside before Spur’s equaliser, the result felt like a loss. Emery will now end his first season without a single away victory against top six opposition, continuing our dreadful form in recent years. We haven’t beat Spurs away since 2014 and our last victory against the top six came against Manchester City in January 2015. Despite the perpetual gloom, there were enough positives from this game to suggest results will improve next season.

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Arsenal 2-0 Southampton: Fourth with 11 games to go. I would have taken that in August

Sunday’s 2-0 victory against Southampton was enough to send us fourth and one point clear of Manchester United. Goals from Lacazette and Mkhitaryan halted a spirited Saints team who should have enough to avoid relegation. A lot can happen in a week. Last Tuesday we were fifth and on the brink of exiting the Europa league, but thankfully Emery and the team seemed to have steadied the ship. With 11 winnable games to go in the Premiership and a round 16 Europa League tie scheduled against Rennes we have it all to play for.

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Huddersfield 1 – 2 Arsenal: Iwobi and Lacazette strike to deliver first away win since November

With Pogba purring and Manchester United storming to another victory, the three points was all that mattered. Two first half goals were enough to overcome the Terriers who are all but relegated. If you told me before the game that Huddersfield would finish with more possession, you would have witnessed a sarcastic smile, but with hindsight, that was highly possible due to our current injury predicament. Even Aubameyang had to miss the game due to flu. How can Emery expect the team to find any rhythm or consistency when we can’t keep anyone fit?

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Manchester City 3 – 1 Arsenal: Aguero hat-trick lifts the champions to give us the Sunday blues

The benefit of reviewing games a few days later is the healthy pragmatism that sets in after emotions have faded. Like most fans Sunday left me annoyed. Annoyed at Iwobi’s mistake for the first goal, annoyed at the Kroenke’s and the shadow that the Super Bowl seemingly placed over Arsenal’s significance, annoyed that we didn’t register one shot on target in the second half blah blah blah. The reality is, Manchester City are a frightening prospect and they can do that to any team in Europe. We simply are a team in transition and need to be patient.

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Arsenal 2 – 1 Cardiff: Fourth is back on as Chelsea fumble again

Gameweek 24 concluded with us miraculously taking fourth place ahead of Chelsea on goals scored. Our 2-1 victory against Cardiff at the Emirates, coupled with Chelsea’s 4-0 hammering at the hands of Bournemouth was enough. In what turned out to be a topsy-turvy week, Spurs were the only other top six side to grab three points underlining the ultra-competitiveness of this year’s Premier League. With not much between us, Man Utd and Chelsea in terms of quality, it appears that fourth will go to the team who wants it the most.

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Arsenal 1 – 3 Manchester Utd: Solskjaer uses the old playbook to outwit Emery

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continued the Manchester United revival with a clinical 3-1 victory at the Emirates. Goals from Lingard, Sanchez and Martial were enough to secure their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup. As a fan who loves this competition, this defeat and the manner in which it was inflicted hurt. 

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Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea: It’s always best to do your talking on the pitch

What a game and what a win. The pressure was on and Emery and the boys delivered. Defeat would have left us nine points behind Chelsea and with Sven Mislintat departing his role as Head of Recruitment, the inevitable complaints about the structure of the club and calls for signings would have been deafening. Yes we need changes, but we need to be patient. Importantly, this game highlighted that the difference between Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United is tiny. The team who wants it the most and makes the least mistakes will get fourth.

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