Chelsea’s defeat to Arsenal threw wide open the race for top four as the Blues missed the opportunity to go nine points clear of Arsenal.
A win for Chelsea could have increased the gap to nine points, but Chelsea lost 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium in an underwhelming performance that annoyed the manager Maurizio Sarri.
Chelsea are now just three points ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United, and United will be a huge concern for Sarri’s top four quest as the Old Trafford outfit have won six consecutive league games and have cut the gap from 11 as at the time Jose Mourinho was sacked to just three points within a month.
Despite the fight for top four now at an intense level and Chelsea’s place no longer safe, Paul Merson believes Chelsea will be the team to make it and says Arsenal and Manchester United won’t make it.
Merson believes United don’t have the defence to back them till the end of the season, and their luck will soon run out, while revealing Arsenal are too inconsistent.
Merson told Sky Sports: “On the race to finish in the top four, Arsenal will get beaten by a team in the bottom half next week probably, they were getting beaten by West Ham last week and they were very poor.
“They won’t have the consistency and I think Manchester United will get found out – they can’t keep on being that lucky, and I say lucky but they’re poor at the back.
“Tottenham’s games they’ve got without Kane are winnable, so I don’t see a problem with them, the top two will look after themselves and I think Chelsea will get it.
“Man for man they’re a lot better than Arsenal I think. Defensively, they’ll be more reliable before the end of the season.
“United have got a couple of nice games coming up, they’ve had some nice games, but I’m a great believer that what follows easy games is difficult games. What about when PSG get hold of them?
“It would’ve done Arsenal a favour to get beat the other day, I think, and then they could have put all their eggs into the Europa League.
“Now they’ve got to go for the league too but I just don’t think they’re good enough. They’re hot and cold, you’ve got to be consistent.
“One minute they’re getting well-beaten by West Ham, but then they’re well-beating Chelsea. The manager’s got to be scratching his head.
“This is Arsenal, they need to be playing Champions League football, not Thursday night. I think Chelsea will edge it, but only just. It’s more the three-point headstart if I’m being honest.”