Arsenal warned they have big problem after Tottenham loss due to three players

Mikel Arteta reviews Spurs defeat

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Arsenal have been warned they have a huge problem standing in the way of Champions League qualification because of the absence of three key players. The Gunners were comfortably beaten by Tottenham on Thursday night to reignite the race for the top four.

There is now just one point separating the two rivals heading into the final two games of the Premier League season. Arsenal had the chance to make sure of their place in the Champions League when they travelled to Spurs, but blew that opportunity with a dreadful performance.

One of the key reasons for their downfall was the sending off of Rob Holding, who was shown two yellow cards by referee Paul Tierney. To make matters worse, star defender Gabriel was forced off with 15 minutes to play with a leg injury, with Arsenal losing 3-0.

And it is the likely absence of Holding and Gabriel, coupled with Kieran Tierney’s extended stint on the sidelines that has left Jamie Redknapp concerned for their top four ambitions. The former Liverpool hero believes that Mikel Arteta’s defence has been “dismantled” at a crucial point in the campaign.

“It is a really difficult one. Arsenal know what they need to do. If they go to Newcastle and win and then beat Everton they get Champions League. Spurs on the other hand, of course they have much better fixtures, you would rather play Burnley at home and then Norwich away, Norwich are already down,” he told Sky Sports.

“Of course, you would rather have Spurs fixtures, but I would not mind being in Arsenal’s shoes because you know what you have got to do. But the other problem that Arsenal have got, and it is a really difficult one, is injuries. It looks like Gabriel has got an injury. They obviously haven’t got Rob Holding. Kieran Tierney is out injured.

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“The back four has been pretty much dismantled. It is all to play for and Newcastle will be a really tough game for Arsenal. They somehow have to pick themselves up and I did not like how they played tonight. They were petulant. It was like the occasion got to them.”

Arteta was unable to provide a solid update on the extent of Gabriel’s injury, though admitted the Brazilian is not one to leave the pitch unless he feels he has a serious problem. Arsenal’s focus will not turn to Monday’s game against Newcastle, one they have to win to maintain their advantage over Spurs.

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