Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Man City holds final English Champions League spot with one weekend to go

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey tries to get the ball away from Sunderland’s Bryan Oviedo and Lamine Koné during Tuesday’s matchup at Emirates Stadium in London.

Paul Childs/REUTERS

With one weekend left in the English Premier League, the stage is set for a three-way race for the final two Champions League qualification spots.

Manchester City should be guaranteed one. Arsenal – for the first time in 20 years – is the favourite to miss out.

Both teams won home games on Tuesday – City beat West Bromwich Albion 3-1 and Arsenal defeated Sunderland 2-0 – to leave them separated by three points heading into the final round of games. Liverpool is the other team in the hunt.

Story continues below advertisement

City has 75 points, Liverpool has 73 and Arsenal has 72.

Crucially, City has a superior goal difference of three and has a benign-looking game, on paper, away to Watford. With Liverpool at home to already-relegated Middlesbrough, Arsenal can only beat Everton and hope for the best.

If Arsenal misses out, it will be the first time the club has done so in a full season under manager Arsène Wenger. Wenger's latest contract is up at the end of this season, and failing to reach the Champions League could yet sway his decision about whether to stay on.

Here's a closer look at Tuesday's games:

Man City 3, West Brom 1

On an almost perfect night for City, popular defender Pablo Zabaleta got a rousing send-off in his last home match. Yaya Touré scored perhaps a farewell goal for the club, and the team virtually guaranteed a place in the Champions League.

Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne scored first-half goals, before Touré strolled through West Brom's defence to add the third and bring the home fans at Etihad Stadium to their feet. Touré, who has been at City since 2010, is waiting to discover if he will receive a new contract.

Story continues below advertisement

It has already been confirmed that Zabaleta – one of City's most popular players – will be leaving City after nine years, and he came on for the final half hour. Each touch, tackle and foul was applauded and there were tributes, a video montage and a presentation after the game.

Arsenal 2, Sunderland 0

Alexis Sanchez kept Arsenal's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League alive after scoring twice in the final 18 minutes.

Sanchez, who took his tally for the season to 28 in all competitions, was left unmarked to meet Mesut Ozil's cross and he doubled the lead with a header after Olivier Giroud's volley rebounded out.

Arsenal could still end the season with silverware by beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final, but missing out on the Champions League would be a big blow to Wenger and his chances of both keeping Sanchez and recruiting big-name players.

League Championship playoffs

Story continues below advertisement

Reading beat Fulham 1-0 to win 2-1 on aggregate and reach the League Championship playoff.

Huddersfield or Sheffield Wednesday await in the final at Wembley Stadium on May 29.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.