Arsenal may qualify for Champions League despite LOSING to Chelsea due to UEFA ruling



Posted Thursday, May 30, 2019 by Express.co.uk

Arsenal may qualify for Champions League despite LOSING to Chelsea due to UEFA ruling
Arsenal may qualify for Champions League even if they LOSE to Chelsea due to UEFA ruling (Image: Getty)

ARSENAL may still qualify for the Champions League next season even though they lost to Chelsea in the Europa League final last night.

After finishing fifth in the Premier League, Arsenal seemingly needed to claim Europa League glory to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

The Gunners threw away their grip on a top-four berth with a terrible end to the campaign, collecting seven points in the last seven games.

The north London club could still be thrown a lifeline, though, and still make it into next season’s premier club competition despite losing 4-1 to Chelsea in Baku.

Premier League winners Manchester City are currently under investigation from Uefa regarding alleged Financial Fair Play breaches.

The club have continually denied any wrongdoing but Uefa referred the case to the Club Financial Control Body adjudicatory chamber earlier this month.

Reports, which were initially featured in the New York Times, claim the Uefa panel will push for City to receive a one-year ban from the Champions League.

Pep Guardiola’s side could, therefore, lose their spot in next year’s competition dependent on when the investigation is resolved.

If that happens, Arsenal will take their spot because they were the next best side in the Premier League, missing out on top four by one point.

Given the complexity of the case, it is more likely a ban would be imposed for the 2020/21 season.

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak recently expressed his confidence about the investigation, telling club media: "Am I uncomfortable? No. I respect regulatory bodies doing their job and any regulatory process that asks questions.

"We have to professionally respond which is what we have done. We are dealing with each of these entities as per the process, we have clear answers.

"I believe, quite comfortably, if the process is going to be judged on facts then unquestionably we will prevail. If it's not about facts and it's about other things, then it is a different conversation."

Arsenal’s showdown with Chelsea was their first European final since losing 2-1 to Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League curtain-closer.

But even as a three-time winner Unai Emery could not guide them to continental glory as Arsenal were battered by their London rivals.

Four goals in 25 minutes saw the Gunners thoroughly beaten in Azerbaijan, with Alex Iwobi's goal only a consolation as Eden Hazard did the damage with a brace.

Arsenal, as a result, will be back in the Europa League next season unless Uefa find City guilty of rule breaches and decide on an immediate punishment.

Chelsea were seemingly in disarray in their training session one day away from the final as Maurizio Sarri stormed off the pitch, throwing his baseball cap to the ground.

It initially seemed the Italian manager, who has recently been linked with a move to Juventus, was angered by a dispute between David Luiz and Gonzalo Higuain.

But later reports suggested Sarri lost his cool after being informed that cameras would not be turned off during at any point during Chelsea’s allotted hour on the pitch, meaning they couldn’t work on tactics such as set-pieces.

And that bust-up didn't matter anyway, as Chelsea came out deserving winners with Olivier Giroud and Pedro also both scoring.



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