Everton in neck to neck war with Arsenal for Champions League spot
Everton manager Roberto Martinez is exuberant to still be in contention of a Champions League spot after picking up a 3-1 win over Fulham and coming within four points of fourth-placed Arsenal with a game in hand. Martinez believes his side will have a race with Arsenal for the final Champions League spot this season.
Martinez was exuberant after his side picked up an important win over Fulham. The Toffees are now breathing down the necks of the Gunners as the race for the top-four took an interesting turn with a 1-1 draw between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Everton have picked wins in all of their last five games, while Arsenal drew to Manchester City and to Swansea City with a 2-2 scoreline and had to face a shocking defeat to Aston Villa. Arsenal will travel to Goodison Park next Sunday, with the danger of losing their precious lead to Everton.
The hosts will be eager to turn the tables in their favor. Martinez is confident in his side’s ability to record a strong challenge, especially since he has a game in hand. The Goodson Park boss claims his side is ready to make a final stand for the spot.
“Being in this position gives us an understanding of what a good season we've had,” Martinez said. “With the points we have, we have a realistic chance to fight for that aim. I'm not saying we're going to get that because we admire Arsenal as they get in the Champions League consistently. They have developed a real understanding of what to do in these games, so that makes Sunday a phenomenal challenge.”
If Everton will all of their remaining seven games in the Premier League, they will be granted a spot in the Champions League for the first time since 2005. However, Martinez admits his side is also feeling pressure from teams trailing them.
Martinez believes the race for the final spot will go down till the last moments of the season as football powerhouses like Manchester United and Everton continue to fight for a revival.
“It will probably go down to the last game of the season,” Martinez said. “Look at the quality and experience of Manchester United and Tottenham -- they will fight until the end. Mathematically, seven teams are fighting for four positions.”