Arsenal were held 1-1 at home by Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League, the result severely denting their top-four hopes and confirming Chelsea’s Champions League return.
The Blues moved up to third place in the table with a home win against Watford and their fellow Europa League semi-finalists were unable to respond at Emirates Stadium later on Sunday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Unai Emery’s men an early lead from the penalty spot, but Brighton – whose survival was rubbed-stamped by Cardiff City’s relegation on Saturday – battled back to claim a deserved draw.
Glenn Murray converted another penalty and the battle for the last Champions League place will now be fought by Tottenham and Arsenal on the final day of the season, though fourth-placed Spurs have a three-point cushion and a huge advantage over their north London rivals on goal difference.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s 20-yard drive hit the foot of the post as Arsenal started well, with the Gunners taking the lead in the ninth minute from the penalty spot.
Nacho Monreal went down under Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s clumsy challenge and Aubameyang sent Mat Ryan the wrong way for his 20th Premier League goal of the season.
After sustained Brighton pressure – led by Yves Bissouma’s persistence – the Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno claimed Murray’s header while Lucas Torreira rifled wide at the other end.
Solly March stung Leno’s palms after the restart and the visitors drew level on the hour from the penalty spot after the Brighton winger was tripped by Granit Xhaka.
Murray coolly converted, beating Leno easily to score his first Premier League goal since March, with Aubameyang missing a fantastic chance to restore Arsenal’s lead in the 74th minute.
Emery made a triple change in a desperate late throw of the dice but his side could not find another goal, with their hopes of playing in next season’s Champions League now likely dependent on them winning the Europa League.
And Brighton should have wrapped up the top-four situation with five minutes left when March’s header was blocked by Leno, Pascal Gross horribly firing the rebound well off target.
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