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Arsenal not giving up on Champions League qualification after derby delight – Arteta

SoccerNews in English Premier League 15 Mar 2021

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said the Gunners are still eyeing a top-four finish in pursuit of Champions League football following their Premier League win over rivals Tottenham in the north London derby.

Alexandre Lacazette’s second-half penalty helped Arsenal beat Tottenham 2-1 on Sunday as Arteta celebrated his first Premier League win over Spurs since taking charge.

Erik Lamela’s stunning rabona goal put Tottenham ahead just past the half-hour mark before Martin Odegaard equalised on the stroke of half-time.

Tottenham midfielder Lamela went from hero to villain – sent off in the 76th minute after Lacazette completed the turnaround 12 minutes earlier.

Arsenal are 10th in the Premier League standings – 10 points adrift of the top four with 10 rounds remaining – but Arteta is not giving up on Champions League qualification.

“Up until mathematically it’s impossible we’re going to believe and we’re going to give it a go that is for sure,” Arteta, who replaced Unai Emery in December 2019, said in his post-match news conference.

“We know that we’re going to have to be extremely consistent, to have any chance in the last two or three matches to be close to that.

“But we’re going to give it a go and we’re going to keep trying, going game-by-game.”

Arsenal have not featured in the Champions League since 2016-17 – the Gunners consigned to the Europa League for the past four seasons.

The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League home games against Spurs (W6 D4), while Arteta is the third consecutive Arsenal boss to win his first home league meeting with Tottenham following Arsene Wenger and Emery.

Since losing his first London derby at Emirates Stadium in the Premier League (2-1 against Chelsea in December 2019), Arteta is unbeaten in his last five such games, picking up four victories (D1).

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