Arsenal have been dealt their second blow to their hopes for European football in 24 hours, firstly losing to Tottenham before Manchester City had their ban overturned.
The Citizens were given a two-year ban from European football for fabricating incomes from sponsors in order to meet Financial Fair Play regulations, but they have managed to fight the decision by lodging an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which they have now won.
City’s ban has been reduced to £10 Million by the CAS, while their ban from Europe has been scrapped altogether.
This means that the team that now finishes in fifth place will no longer be given Champions League football, and that the team that finishes down in eighth place will have no chance of playing in the Europa League, unless that team is Arsenal who goes onto win the FA Cup(I’m far from confident of our chances in the cup).
We currently sit nine points behind Leicester who occupy fourth place at present, and with three matches remaining you can categorically rule out any chance of reaching the top-four. Our league target will now have to be seventh place, thanks to the fact that Manchester City won the League Cup earlier in the season, and the FA Cup will be won by a team who will finish inside the top five, or by us.
We currently trail Sheffield United and Wolves by four and five points respectively, with a possible nine points remaining, making every Premier League fixture a must-win, starting with Liverpool in midweek.
Hopefully the Reds will not be at their best due to the fact that they have already won the title, but they are believed to have their sights set on reaching 100 points, which means they will need two wins and a draw at the very least from the remaining fixtures.
Will Arsenal be able to pick themselves up for a fight against Liverpool in midweek? How much of a blow is it that eighth place is no longer the minimum needed for us to gain Europa League football?