Merson and Redknapp back Arsenal ato pip rivals Tottenham to fourth
Paul Merson and Jamie Redknapp insist Arsenal are now FAVOURITES to pip rivals Tottenham to final Champions League spot after win at Chelsea… but Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink still backs Antonio Conte’s men due to Harry Kane
- Arsenal got Champions League push back on track with shock win at Chelsea
- The Gunners started the day in fifth after Man United’s defeat at Liverpool
- Now they only trail Tottenham in fourth on goal difference following 4-2 win
- Paul Merson, Jamie Redknapp and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink have say on race
Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes Arsenal now have it back ‘in their hands’ to qualify for next season’s Champions League after they won a six-goal thriller at Chelsea.
Eddie Nketiah’s brace, Emile Smith Rowe’s wonderfully taken goal and Bukayo Saka’s stoppage-time penalty helped the Gunners end a run of three straight Premier League defeats with a 4-2 victory at Stamford Bridge.
The Gunners jumped up from sixth place to fifth even before they had played following Manchester United’s disastrous defeat at Liverpool on Tuesday evening.
Paul Merson believes Arsenal are once again favourites to secure a top-four finish
Eddie Nketiah’s brace helped the Gunners to a 4-2 victory against Chelsea in west London
Now Mikel Arteta’s men only trail arch rivals Tottenham – who currently sit in fourth – on goal difference and Merson believes his former club now hold the advantage in the race to seal that last spot in the top four.
‘[It was] brilliant to go to Stamford Bridge and score four goals on the back of three defeats – phenomenal,’ Merson told Sky Sports.
‘When they turn up and see that team-sheet, no [Antonio] Rudiger, no [Thiago] Silva (from the start). Two big players and [Kai] Havertz and they took advantage and fair play it’s in their hands now.
‘I think advantage Arsenal. I don’t think Tottenham beat Brentford away (on Saturday). Brentford are flying at the moment.
And former Gunners star Merson says Arsenal now have their fate in their own hands again
‘I think Manchester United’s a hard game (for Arsenal), I know they have been terrible but who doesn’t want to go to the Emirates and play football.
‘You’ve got no pressure Man United, the first game played against a team of their magnitude and no one expects anything. Just go out on Saturday and get beat and no one cares.’
Former Spurs midfielder Jamie Redknapp agreed with Merson, insisting Arsenal’s win in west London should not be underestimated despite both them and Spurs facing tough games on Saturday.
‘Don’t underestimate how big a result this is,’ Redknapp said. ‘[There are] tough games ahead, Man United and Tottenham, but this makes them favourites in the top four race again.’
Jamie Redknapp agreed, insisting the victory at Stamford Bridge cannot be underestimated
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink however is still backing Tottenham to secure a spot in the top four
Former Chelsea forward Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink – who backed Spurs to claim that final Champions League spot before Arsenal’s win on Wednesday – believes Antonio Conte’s men will still edge it due to their firepower up front.
The Gunners had scored just once in the three top-flight games prior to the four they netted at Stamford Bridge, while Tottenham have netted nine in the same time frame.
‘Before the match tonight I was more with Spurs because of their firepower and Arsenal’s difficulty scoring,’ the Dutchman said.
‘I’d still go Spurs. North London Derby will be a huge match but they’ve got [Harry] Kane and great firepower.’
Hasselbaink believes Tottenham’s firepower including Harry Kane will see them pip Arsenal
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