Wenger says contract doubts contributed to top-4 failure


Sunday's 3-1 success over Everton was not enough to secure Champions League qualification, as Manchester City and Liverpool's victories over Watford and Middlesbrough mean the Gunners finish fifth and miss out on a place at European club football's top table for the first time under Wenger.

Speaking after the 3-1 win against Everton, which left the Gunners fifth and outside the Champions League qualification places, Wenger said: "Overall I believe we played in January in a very hard environment, some of you know about some of it".

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks across the pitch during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Everton at The Emirates stadium in London, Sunday May 21, 2017.

Wenger has not said if he wants to stay. We have not to look there as well as an excuse, but I just say it's a fact - it doesn't help.

"If you have one odd year in 20 years [out of the Champions League], it is not a problem", he said.

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Arsenal now have a defensive headache for next week's Wembley final against Chelsea as defender Koscielny was sent off for a bad tackle on Enner Valencia while fellow defender Gabriel suffered a knee injury.

Having struggled to break down disciplined Boro, Georginio Wijnaldum's goal in first-half stoppage time paved the way for goals early in the second half for Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana. Middlesbrough were able to hold the score line to 0-0 until right before the half time whistle blew.

"It s a big relief".

But one could argue that Liverpool are learning how to deal with tense and stressful moments under Jurgen Klopp.

At Vicarage Road, City wrapped up third place and automatic entry into the Champions League group stages.

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"We were under a lot of pressure".

City finished third with Liverpool fourth, while Spurs finished their season in style with a 7-1 win at relegated Hull.

Already guaranteed to finish second, Tottenham scored twice in the first 13 minutes through Kane and added further goals through Dele Alli and Victor Wanyama.

England striker Harry Kane scored his second hat-trick of the week to finish as the clear victor of the Golden Boot with 29 goals from only 30 games.

Antonio Conte's side were presented with the trophy after beating bottom club Sunderland 5-1 at Stamford Bridge, where departing club captain John Terry made an emotional farewell speech to the crowd.

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Manchester United finished in sixth place despite a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace in their final game of the Premier League campaign ahead of next Wednesday's Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm.