Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (left) scores a goal against Sunderland in the 2-0 win.
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (left) scores a goal against Sunderland in the 2-0 win. SEAN DEMPSEY

Champions League spot up for grabs on final day

THE English Premier League top four will be decided on the final matchday.

The champions (Chelsea) and relegated teams (Hull, Sunderland and Middlesbrough) were already decided, but Alexis Sanchez sank Sunderland to keep Arsenal in the hunt for Champions League qualification, while Manchester City all but secured a top-four place by beating West Bromwich Albion.

Sanchez scored two late close-range goals to earn Arsenal a 2-0 home victory over relegated Sunderland, while Kevin De Bruyne starred as City comfortably defeated West Brom 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

City climb to third in the Premier League, two points above Liverpool and three points clear of Arsenal, with only the teams finishing third and fourth assured to join Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League.

Manchester United can't catch the top five, so can only make the Champions League by winning the Europa League final.

"We've got in on the final day many times," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told BBC Sport.

"We made 71 points and were second. We now have 72 and want to go to 75. After that you deal with what happens."

Arsenal must win their final game at home to Everton and hope Liverpool slip up at home to relegated Middlesbrough if they are to guarantee a 20th successive season of Champions League football.

As well as their points advantage over Arsenal, Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool also has a superior goal difference (+33 to +31).

A point at Watford will guarantee a top-four place for Pep Guardiola's City, but they can secure third place - and, crucially, avoid the Champions League play-off round - if they win.

However, there's also a situation where Arsenal could play Liverpool in a playoff clash for a top four spot.

Arsenal needs to draw 1-1 with Everton and Liverpool loses 2-0 to Middlesbrough with the teams finishing with the same number of points, same goal difference and equal number of goals scored.

News Corp Australia

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