Arsenal failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 20 years despite a 3-1 victory over Everton on Sunday (21/05/17).
Arsenal prevailed courtesy of goals from Hector Bellerin, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey, with Romelu Lukaku securing one from a penalty spot for Everton to take his tally for the campaign to 25 goals.
Liverpool’s win over Middlesbrough condemned the Gunners to a fifth-place finish, making this the first season since 1996-97 to conclude with the club having not secured a place in Europe’s elite competition, according to AFP.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger speaking to BBC Sport:
“It is annoying but we had a spell during the season that was difficult and it was difficult for me in my personal situation. We were playing in a hostile environment. The players came back stronger in the past two months and I’m very proud of them for doing that.
“I was focused on my job. I am professional. I love this club enough to do my best every single day. One thing you cannot question is my love for this club. I’ve turned down every club in the world to stay here.”
Everton’s form has fallen away badly since they secured Europa League qualification – a successful return for manager Ronald Koeman in his first season considering the fiasco he inherited from his predecessor Roberto Martinez.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman:
“It wasn’t good enough. We saw today what we need for the next season. We need more productivity out of possession. That’s the difference between us and Arsenal.
“We did everything to win the game but we had to score in the first half. It was a long time 11 v 10 and a penalty isn’t enough.”
Arsenal have a Wembley date with Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday.