Gunners 9/4 for top four

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: March 4 2013, 8:40 GMT

Arsenal are out to 9/4 for a top-four finish in the Premier League after a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham left them five points outside the Champions League places.

Gareth Bale: Hurt the bookies with his opening goal
Gareth Bale: Hurt the bookies with his opening goal

The Gunners were beaten by first-half goals from Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon with Per Mertesacker's effort just after the break not enough to prevent Spurs opening a seven-point lead over their north London rivals.

Spurs climb to third with Chelsea now fourth and Arsenal fifth.

The last time the Gunners failed to finish in the top four was 1995/96 but the prices now suggest they are struggling to keep that run intact.

BetVictor and Stan James both offer 9/4 about them finishing in the top four.

Spurs, meanwhile, are as short as 1/5 for a top-four finish after their win. Coral offer 1/3.

Chelsea, who beat West Brom 1-0 on Saturday, are general 1/5 shots, although Coral will give you 2/9.

The two Merseyside clubs are now very much on the periphery of the top-four race. Liverpool can be backed at 16s and Everton 20s.

Position Player Score
1 Man Utd 71
2 Man City 56
3 Tottenham 54
4 Chelsea 52
5 Arsenal 47
6 Everton 45
7 Liverpool 42

William Hill's Joe Crilly said: "That victory for Spurs has cemented their place in the top four and it will take a lot of hard work both on their part and the part of their rivals to chisel away at the deficit now."

In a straight match bet, Spurs are now 2/5 (Hill's) to finish above Arsenal, something they last did back in 1994/95.

The Gunners are 5/2 shots to finish higher at bet365.

Tottenham's victory was a miserable result for many layers, particularly with the well-backed Bale netting the first goal. He would have also featured in many scorecast bets.

Crilly added: "Spurs were the best-backed side of the day and they have duly rewarded those punters who put their faith in them.

"Gareth Bale was also the best-backed first scorer today and so we face a double whammy."

Bale's goal was his 16th of the Premier League season and he was duly cut into 12/1 (general) to win the Golden Boot.

It was his ninth goal in Spurs' last seven games in all competitions but still leaves him five behind Luis Suarez, who went favourite following his hat-trick at Wigan on Saturday.

Suarez is 8/11 (general) with last season's winner Robin van Persie, two behind the Liverpool striker, offered at 13/8 by Hill's, Coral and Paddy Power. Then comes Bale at 12s.

Sunday's defeat heaped more pressure on Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who can now be backed at 1/2 to be in charge of the club come the opening day of the 2013/14 season at Hill's. Coral go 11/4 that he is not. Wenger is contracted until the summer of 2014.