Defeat to derby rivals Tottenham means the battle for a top-four spot is likely to go down to the wire.
The post Mikel Arteta happy Arsenal remain in control of their Champions League fate appeared first on Jersey Evening Post.

Mikel Arteta is satisfied Arsenal’s hopes of a Premier League top-four finish remain in their own hands despite a humbling defeat at fierce rivals Tottenham on Thursday.

Arsenal were brushed aside 3-0 by their north London neighbours at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, meaning the battle for the final Champions League spot is likely to go down to the wire.

Despite such a dispiriting loss, Arsenal hold the upper hand as maximum points from their last two matches – at Newcastle on Monday and Everton next weekend – would render whatever Spurs do irrelevant.

Arsenal were humbled by rivals Tottenham on Thursday (John Walton/PA)

“Two games and two wins is a good place to be,” said Arteta, whose side finish their campaign by welcoming struggling Everton to the Emirates Stadium next Sunday.

Having had time to reflect on their humiliation earlier this week, Arteta was similarly keen to take the positives.

“Obviously losing like that is always painful,” he added.

“But, as well, you learn a lot, probably more than with any victory. So it is good to go through those moments, sometimes.

Arteta, who is facing a dilemma at the heart of his defence with Holding banned and Ben White and Gabriel doubtful due to injuries, paid tribute to the job Eddie Howe is doing at Newcastle.

When Howe took charge of Newcastle last November, they were second bottom in the league and without a win in their opening 11 games of the season, but the former Bournemouth boss has transformed their fortunes and guaranteed the Magpies’ place in the top-flight next season.

“You can see straightaway what they have changed on the coaching side,” Arteta said. “They tried to modify the way they were playing.

Eddie Howe has rejuvenated Newcastle (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Arsenal are likely to be subjected to a second hostile reception in a matter of days when they travel to St James’ Park but Arteta insisted his side should embrace the occasion on Tyneside.

“Obviously this is the Premier League,” he said. “It’s great to go to away grounds and experience those moments.

“As an athlete you want to be exposed to that and take it in the right way and feel lucky to play these kind of games.”

The post Mikel Arteta happy Arsenal remain in control of their Champions League fate appeared first on Jersey Evening Post.

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