LONDON – There is nothing left to play for when Arsenal host Wolverhampton Wanderers in their final game of the Premier League season on Sunday, and the Gunners will be left to reflect on what might have been.
Mikel Arteta’s men led the league for 248 days before a late-season collapse culminated in a 3-0 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion and a 1-0 defeat by Nottingham Forest last weekend, handing Manchester City the title on a plate.
Arsenal, despite having punched above their weight, now have a piece of unwanted history – no team have spent so long at the summit without winning the league.
Speaking on Friday, Arteta refused to be too negative about how the season turned out, and is optimistic of what the future holds for his team.
“It is about finishing the season in style. To provide a great performance and victory in front of our people and show our gratitude for the incredible energy they have given us,” he said.
“A lot has been done really well across the club. The club has connected with the crowd and with the DNA and values of who we are.
“We have to seek excellence in all we do so we have to nail everything. We will be critical with ourselves and look for those small margins. We are Arsenal – we have to win and be the best.”
The Gunners will finish second no matter what the result is on Sunday.
They will, however, be seeking a 26th win of the league campaign which will equal their 2003-04 “Invincibles” team and also the 2001-02 Premier League-winning side.
The odds are in their favour as they have won their final match of the season more than any other side (21), with a win rate of 70 per cent.
Wolves, meanwhile, are winless in their last seven away games in the league (D2 L5) and losing the last three by an aggregate of 10-1.
Arsenal also beat Wolves 2-0 at Molineux in November and will hope to at least end their two-game losing run as they regroup for a new title challen...