Per Mertesacker Admits Arsenal Desperate To Avoid Champions League Play-Offs

Per Mertesacker 12

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has admitted that the Gunners are desperate to avoid Champion League play-offs prior to next season.

The north Londoners loosened their grip on second spot with a 1-0 defeat against Swansea City on Monday night and will now travel to Old Trafford to face fourth-placed Manchester United on Sunday.

Arsenal sit two points ahead of United but have a game in hand as the race for an automatic Champions League spot heats up.

The German international defender said: “That is how quickly football can change. When you don’t execute, you get punished.

“That game was a reminder of how important it is to score, how important it is to get the opener when you have the opportunity.

“When you don’t do that in the Premier League, you are battling for fourth place, not second. It is that simple.

“It is very important to avoid those play-off games, because, when you look at the schedule, the summer break will not be that much.

“We have a couple of under-21 players, a couple playing in the Copa America, so it will again be a tight schedule, so we’ll try to really avoid that.”

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