Arsenal’s season so far has been another rollercoaster ride but the cart led by Mikel Arteta has hit another high.
After an unconvincing victory over Benfica in the Europa League, Arsenal looked on course for more frustration when Youri Tielemans fired Leicester City ahead in the opening minutes of Sunday’s match at the King Power Stadium.
The Gunners had previously conceded early in the defeat to Manchester City and it appeared that the tracks would lead to another forgetful afternoon in the Premier League.
That was not the case, however, as goals from David Luiz and Alexandre Lacazette turned the tie on it’s head before the break, with Nicolas Pepe sealing victory with his effort in the second half.
It was Arsenal’s finest victory since the turn of the calendar year, a statement of intent that was last seen in the Boxing Day triumph against Chelsea, and a result which provided a boost to the hopes of securing European football next season.
Eight-points adrift of the top-four, Arsenal still have a huge amount of work to do if they are to claw their way back into the Champions League but the view on the Gunners has altered significantly.
Data scientists FiveThirtyEight have boosted Arsenal’s chances of finishing in the top-four to 5%, having rated the Gunners as having just a 2% chance prior to the weekend.
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Arsenal have not had a number that high since the start of February, where Arteta’s side saw their chances halved from a 10% chance at the end of January, and their chances could be boosted further with positive results in the coming weeks against Burnley, Spurs and West Ham.
They are still, however, the outsiders in the hunt with Everton (7%), Aston Villa (8%), Tottenham (14%) and West Ham (24%) all considered more likely to be playing in Europe’s elite competition next season.
Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Leicester City are the four sides predicted to secure a top-four finish, with the Foxes narrowly ahead of Chelsea following the defeat to Arsenal.