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Mikel Arteta’s side have emerged as the favourites to finish fourth in recent weeks but their six-match unbeaten run was brought to an end by title-chasing Liverpool.
Arsenal matched and even bettered Liverpool in the first-half of Wednesday’s Premier League clash at the Emirates but second-half goals from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino gave Jurgen Klopp’s side a ninth successive win.
The Gunners are still fourth but find themselves just one point above Manchester United, while fellow top-four contenders West Ham and Tottenham are both within one victory of Arsenal.
Arsenal will be buoyed by the fact they have at least one game in hand over all of their nearest rivals, however, and Carragher expects the north London outfit to finish fourth after being impressed by their progression under Arteta.
‘Forgot Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City, Arsenal’s results have been poor against them, but it doesn’t matter what your results are like against certain teams, it’s about how many points you get across the season.
‘They’re in a fight with Tottenham, Manchester United and West Ham. When I watch Arsenal tonight, I think they are a better team than United and Spurs, but those teams have individuals who can do special things. Arsenal maybe lack that.
‘But I think it looks like a proper team and a well-coached team so I think Arsenal will just about do it.’
Following a 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford last weekend, Antonio Conte’s Tottenham returned to winning ways on Wednesday, beating struggling Brighton 2-0 at the Amex Stadium.
Arsenal are still in the driving seat for a top-four spot, though, and Arteta was largely pleased with his team’s performance against title-contenders Liverpool.
He said: ‘From box to box, we did everything that we’d planned. What happened in the boxes was a different story, that’s where we lost the game.
‘I think the whole team played fantastically well. I don’t think the result reflects the performance, but in the box they had the decisive moments. They put the ball in the net twice.
‘[The top two] have set other standards again this season. To cope with that, I have to congratulate the team, but we’re here to win football matches and today we didn’t do it.
‘Mentally we’re ready [for the next game]. Saturday against Aston Villa will be a very different game, but a very difficult game.’
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Source: Metro Sport