Our hopes of securing a top-four place are effectively over after we could only draw with Brighton in our final home match of the season.
Having seen Chelsea win 3-0 before kick off, we knew that we needed to do the same to keep our hopes alive – and we made the perfect start.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan hit the post with little more than 60 seconds on the clock, and we continued to press and were soon awarded a penalty when Nacho Monreal was bundled over in the area by Alireza Jahanbakhsh.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stepped up and made no mistake to give us the early advantage, but in truth we failed to build on it for much of a sluggish first half.
But we came to life just before the interval as Shkodran Mustafi, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan all tested Mat Ryan into action in quick succession during an intense spell.
But it was Bernd Leno who was busier at the start of the second half, and he had to get down well to make a smart save to deny Solly March.
We were soon made to pay for our lack of intensity when March went down in the area under a Granit Xhaka challenge and Glenn Murray converted from the spot.
Our top-four hopes were now hanging by a thread – how would we respond?
Back we came, with Aubameyang soon volleying over after meeting a Xhaka corner, before the Gabon international then fired wide from 10 yards out.
Brighton came within inches of snatching a late win as Gross sliced a shot wide from close range but try as we might, we could find no way through as a hugely disappointing afternoon came to a close.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
We travel to Valencia for the second leg of our Europa League semi-final, with a 3-1 lead to protect from the first match.
After that we’re on the road again, this time to Burnley for our final match of the Premier League season.
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