Mikel Arteta reflects on Arsenal's defeat at Liverpool
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Arsenal hero Jack Wilshere believes the Gunners have a ‘real chance’ of securing a Champions League place at the end of the campaign. The north Londoners have been the Premier League form side over the last two months but saw their eight-game unbeaten run ended by Liverpool on Saturday.
Despite the defeat, Arsenal are still fifth in the table and will fancy their chances of breaking into the top four after a series of assured displays this season.
West Ham currently occupy the final Champions League place, but Mikel Arteta’s side now find themselves just one point above Wolves and Tottenham.
But perhaps Arsenal’s biggest rivals to land fourth place will be 13-time Premier League champions Manchester United.
The Red Devils dropped to eighth over the weekend following their humiliating 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Watford.
But they could soon have a new manager in place following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United have one of the best squads in the league and, with the right man in charge, the team could produce a run of results which moves them into the Champions League places – so the Gunners will be wary of their rivals.
And Express Sport takes a look at four Arsenal players who will be key to their hopes of securing Champions League football.
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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has had a quiet start to the season by his standards.
The Gabon forward has notched four Premier League goals but has struggled to make an impact against the best teams in the league.
He found the back of the net in the north London derby against Tottenham in September, but his other strikes have come against Norwich, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
If Arsenal are to beat United to fourth place, Aubameyang will need to step-up on the big occasions and find his scoring boots in those big matches.
Bukayo Saka is still waiting to find his top gear following his disappointment with England at this summer’s Euro 2020.
But he is a player who can unlock the best defences in the league and produce a moment of magic to win games.
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It speaks volumes of the winger’s talents that he is regarded as one of Arsenal’s star players at the age of 20.
If he can increase his output over the coming months, he could be the man to fire his side to success.
Emile Smith Rowe
Emile Smith Rowe has been in tremendous form for the Gunners this season and scored in three consecutive games before Saturday’s 4-0 thumping at Anfield.
The 21-year-old made his England debut during the international break and will be on cloud nine after his strong start to the season.
Smith Rowe will now be considered by Arteta as one of his key players and the Spaniard will be looking for the attacker to come up with the goods when it matters.
Arsenal lost their first three games of the season but Ben White only played in one of those matches.
The defender has started his side’s last nine Premier League games and Arsenal have kept five clean sheets.
The Gunners have looked much more solid at the back following the summer arrivals of White, Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
And White will need to continue producing impressive performances if he is to keep the best strikers in the top-flight at bay and help Arsenal book that fourth-place finish.
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