Arsenal: Five Games That Cost Arsene Wenger Champions League Football

Down and Deflated
Olivier Giroud, right, at Selhurst Park, London, April 10. Arsenal players react after losing 3-0 to Crystal Palace. Clive Rose/Getty

Arsenal's five consecutive wins at the end of the season wasn't enough to creep into the top four of the Premier League and qualify for next year's Champions League.

Arsene Wenger's team finished the campaign at a canter after a disappointing mid-season run that left it short of making it into the top four. Arsenal will not compete in Europe's top club competition for the 2017/18 season — the first time Arsenal has failed to do so for 19 years. The Gunners will play in the Europa League next season.

In a turbulent season that included banners demanding Wenger to leave, fights among fans and booing by supporters of their own players, it was one of the worst of Wenger's tenure in north London.

Here, Newsweek looks at the five matches that cost Arsenal a place in the Champions League:

Arsenal 0-0 MiddlesbroughOctober 22

A point took Arsenal to the top of the Premier League. But, seven months later, two more points against one of the weakest teams in the league would have seen Wenger's team pip Liverpool to fourth and be playing at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu rather than Viktoria Plzen's Doosan Arena next season. Arsenal dominated possession and the game, but only truly troubled Victor Valdes, the Boro goalkeeper, once.

Everton 2-1 ArsenalDecember 13

This time, Arsenal missed the opportunity to overtake Chelsea at the top of the table. An Alexis Sanchez free kick deflected off Ashley Williams and beat Maarten Stekelenburg in the Everton goal early in the first half as Arsenal looked to be heading to the summit. But a Seamus Coleman header late in the first half rallied the Goodison Park crowd and Williams scored the winner with four minutes remaining.

Arsenal 1-2 WatfordJanuary 31

Arsenal was still in the hunt for the Premier League title on a chilly Tuesday night in January when Watford traveled to the Emirates Stadium. But two goals in the first 10 minutes of the match, from Younes Kaboul and then Troy Deeney, put an end to the club's hopes as it fell nine points behind the eventual champion Chelsea. Alex Iwobi gave the hosts hope and Lucas Perez came closest when his late drive crashed back off the crossbar, but it wasn't to be.

West Brom 3-1 ArsenalMarch 18

Arsenal suffered its fourth defeat in five games on a Saturday afternoon at the Hawthorns. And this was probably the worst of the season as it saw Wenger's team fall five points off Liverpool in fourth. Everybody recognizes West Brom's greatest strength is from set pieces but Arsenal got stung three times: twice from Craig Dawson and once by Hal Robson-Kanu. At that match two planes flew across the stadium, one against Wenger and the other supporting him. The club was reaching crisis point.

Crystal Palace 3-0 ArsenalApril 10

At Selhurst Park on a Monday night in April, Arsenal suffered one of its poorest games of the season. Crystal Palace was fighting against relegation while Arsenal was still looking for Champions League qualification. Although Wenger's side dominated the ball with 72 percent of possession, Palace had 17 shots to Arsenal's 11 and punished its north London rivals. Gunners fans held up banners calling for Wenger to resign and booed their own players. even points off fourth spot and the Champions League looked out of reach; eventually, that proved to be the case.