Arsenal vs. Manchester United: Gunners Will Finish in Top Four Despite Draw

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks on ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage on April 20, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

A draw against Manchester United isn't going to derail Arsenal's bid to qualify the Champions League.

With the Red Devils having already clinched the Premier League title, there was some question as to whether Sir Alex Ferguson might send out a weakened side. There was nothing on the line for United, so Ferguson could've afforded to rest his biggest stars. Instead, he went with a full-strength side and did no favors to Arsene Wenger.

By earning the draw, the Gunners remain two points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who sit in fifth place. Spurs, though, have a game in hand, and should they win that, they would go ahead of Arsenal by a point.

Failing to qualify for the Champions League would be a disaster for Arsenal, especially coming at the hands of its hated rival.

It's a nightmare scenario that supporters shouldn't have to worry about.

Time and again, Wenger manages to pull a rabbit out of the hat and get the club in the top four. Arsenal have looked really bad at times this season. Yet, here the club is, once again, in the fourth position near the end of the season. As far away as Arsenal is from winning the title, there's no reason to doubt their chances of qualifying for the Champions League.

The biggest thing going for the Gunners is the end of the season run-in.

Arsenal finish off away to QPR, home to Wigan and away to Newcastle. That should be nine points easily.

QPR is hopeless. The club is already relegated. Harry Redknapp and his players gave up a long time ago.

Wigan will be tough. The Latics always fight hard to avoid relegation toward the end of the season. But playing in the Emirates will be a huge benefit to the Gunners.

Newcastle was just beaten, 6-0, by a Luis Suarez-less Liverpool. That's all you need to say about the Magpies.

Spurs have a much tougher end to the season.

They've got Southampton at home, Chelsea away, Stoke City away and Sunderland at home. Chelsea and Sunderland will be the tricky fixtures. The Blues are fighting for their top-four lives as well. Dropped points will only help Tottenham and Arsenal both strengthen their positions in the table. Regarding Sunderland, the club has been playing much better under Paolo Di Canio.

There's even the chance that Chelsea slips up enough to let both Tottenham and Arsenal finish in the top four. Along with the massive match against Spurs, the Blues go away to United and Aston Villa and welcome in Everton. That's a brutal four-match stretch.

Should the Gunners get nine points out their remaining three matches, they can let the Chelsea and Tottenham stumble.


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