Poor victory, but Arsenal could qualify with 2 games to spare

What an awful game that was. For 89 minutes, it was a snooze fest. At points, it felt like I was watching an England game. It was dull, boring and uninspiring. But someone, by hook or by crook, we got out of Belgium with 3 points.

And looking at the table, what an important 3 points it is.CL Group D Table

Despite being embarrassed at Borussia Dortmund and limping past Anderlecht, Arsenal are in a situation where they could guarantee qualification after the next round of games.

The equation is simple. We beat Anderlecht at home, which we should, we move on to 9 points. With Borussia Dortmund playing Galatasaray at home, it is likely that the German’s will win. That would leave the table looking like:Potential CL Table


Arsenal would have an 8 point lead on the 2 sides below them, with just 6 games to play for. Qualified after just 4 games.

The question then is what do we do with the remaining 2 games?

Go out for the win in Turkey and at home to Dortmund in an attempt to finish top (where we could still end up facing Barcelona & Atletico Madrid as it stands), or send out the youths enabling our side to be a bit fresher for the weekend fixtures.

Personally, I would favour the latter.

With our paper thin squad, and massive injury problems, any opportunity to rest the entire 1st team should be taken with both hands.

Yes, finishing top reduces the chances of facing one of Europe’s Elite, but we will have to face them at some point to win the competition, and let’s be honest, it’s unlikely that we will win the Champions League this season.

The only advantage of finishing top and getting an easier knock out game was progression to the quarter finals guaranteed more coefficient points enabling us to remain a top seed. But with the change in UEFA rankings for 2015/16, where the top seeds will now be the holders and seven league winners from the top seven European leagues, Arsenal will be 2nd seeds no matter if they make the quarter final or lose in the first knock out stage.

By sticking out the youths, it will give players a much needed mid-week off, before games against WBA & Newcastle.

Yes, it might be a bit of a defeatist view, but with our struggling league form, surely it will be more beneficial to put ourselves in the best position possible to beat WBA & Newcastle by keeping the players fresh, than playing a strongest 11 in Europe when qualification is already guaranteed?

On top of that, we could end up beating Galatasaray and Dortmund, and still finish 2nd on goal difference – we currently have 7 to make up on Dortmund.

Yesterday was shocking, but a wins a win, and if we are sitting on the 4th of November with Champions League qualification in the bag, that is positive.




3 thoughts on “Poor victory, but Arsenal could qualify with 2 games to spare

  1. hrishi93

    Top spot remains unlikely- but not because we need to make up a goal difference of +7. Head to head record is the first tie breaker and hence we would need to win by a 3 goal margin against Dortmund to guarantee top spot (apart from winning the other 2, of course).
    If it is a 2 goal margin that we win by, anything apart from 2-0 hands the group to them. And even a 2-0 victory would guarantee nothing as we need to make up a +3 goal difference from elsewhere.
    Feel like ruing that missed Poldi chance right at the end of that awful Dortmund game? Just shows that in the UCL, even when you’re 2-0 down with 2 minutes to play, a goal can be more than a consolation or a morale booster. Completely undeserved though it may have been, that goal would have made things infinitely easier for us.

  2. Shubham

    A win is a win, 3 points are vital. No injuries are an added bonus for us. Remember, winning when playing poorly is not a bad sign. The positive, I take from the game is we continued going ahead and got rewarded. Keep up the spirit. Need 4 such wins in the League to claw back up the table.

  3. stantheman

    Whichever way you look at it, a win is a win, just like you said. As long as we win fairly, I have no qualms with playing badly. It’s rather unbearably painful to play well, even beautifully, and end up empty-handed. Give me the win anyday, thank you very much. The playing well will follow as things unfold, hopefully. At the risk of drawing some flak, I will even forgive yesterday’s performance, cutting the team some slack on account of the ravaging effects of injuries on the chemistry. Excuses, I almost hear slmeone say. But I think we should learn to take solace in whatever little positive we can glean from the proceedngs as the season unfolds. Lrt’s enjoy it while it lasts. Afterall, look at a team like Liverpool on the same night…


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