Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspurs, and Manchester United continued their woeful spell in the English Premier League, even as Chelsea, which were all but written off a month ago, have now climbed to third ahead of Spurs.
Arsenal should be one point behind Tottenham who were third with one game left, breathing heavily down the back of their necks, ready to exploit one final stumble and steal that final Champions League spot.
But they are not.
A 1-1 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday is a terrible result for Unai Emery’s team, failing to exploit Spurs’ disastrous defeat at Bournemouth yesterday, only making up one point rather than three. Now Arsenal need an extremely unlikely combination of results to come fourth: a big win away at Burnley, while hoping that Spurs lose badly at home to Everton. Neither of those are likely.
So Arsenal’s top four hopes are effectively over, and now Champions League football can only be won in Baku at the end of the month.
Tottenham was even worse than Arsenal.
Tottenham had two players sent off as they missed the chance to guarantee Champions League football next season after Nathan Ake scored an injury-time winner for Bournemouth on Saturday.
It was far from ideal preparation for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who face Ajax in the Champions League semi-final second leg on Wednesday in Amsterdam, having lost the first leg 1-0.
Son Heung-min was dismissed for pushing Jefferson Lerma at the end of a frantic first half, in which Eric Dier was lucky not to have been sent off and Bournemouth could conceivably have had two penalties.
Then, just over two minutes after coming on at half-time, Juan Foyth was also shown a straight red card as he slid studs-up into Jack Simpson.
Spurs have now won just once in their past four league games and stay third on 70 points, four points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal, who have two games remaining.
Another team aiming for Champions League qualification, Manchester United were also unimpressive as they drew with relegation-bound Huddersfield.
Isaac Mbenza’s second-half goal gave Huddersfield a 1-1 draw with Manchester United, whose interest in the Champions League places was ended by this result.
The biggest gainer last weekend has to Chelsea, as the blues beat Watford 3-0 to climb to the third position ahead of Tottenham, thereby securing a champions league spot.