Arsenal top-four hopes all but over after Brighton draw

(Image: Twitter/@Arsenal)

Arsenal’s hopes of claiming a Champions League place via a top-four finish are all but over after Unai Emery’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.

Needing victory to keep their top-four chances realistically alive after Chelsea had earlier beaten Watford, Arsenal got the perfect start when referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot after Alireza Jahanbakhsh impeded Nacho Monreal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made no mistake with the penalty to notch up his 20th league goal of the season.

There was a nervousness about Arsenal, however, and Brighton grew into the game, with the threat of relegation removed by Cardiff City’s defeat on Saturday.

The visitors were level in the 61st minute when the dangerous Solly March made a strong goalwards run and Granit Xhaka was panicked into conceding a penalty that Murray converted.

In an end-to-end climax both teams went close to scoring but the final whistle was met with stunned silence by the Emirates crowd.

With one game left, Arsenal are four points adrift of third-placed Chelsea and three behind Tottenham Hotspur, whose goal difference is eight better than the Gunners.

REUTERS/Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Ken Ferris

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