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Arsenal boss Emery admits top four finish now ‘very difficult’ after Leicester loss

Arsenal boss Unai Emery admits finishing in the Premier League’s top four will now ‘very difficult’ after seeing his side beaten 3-0 at Leicester.

Arsenal’s hopes of securing Champions League football suffered a huge blow after Jamie Vardy’s double inspired Leicester to victory at the King Power Stadium, with Brendan Rodgers’ side continuing their own pursuit of European football.

Consecutive defeats to Crystal Palace and Wolves had left Arsenal’s top four hopes in doubt prior to kick off, and their task was made more difficult at Leicester after Ainsley Maitland-Niles was dismissed in the first half for two bookable offences.

Youri Tielemans’ header broke the deadlock for Leicester just before the hour mark, before Vardy’s late double took his tally for the season to 18 league goals and condemned Emery’s side to a third straight league defeat.

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Emery admits a top-four finish is now unlikely for his side, and will instead turn his attention to winning the Europa League as they prepare to meet Spanish side Valencia in the semi-finals this week.

“We are going to think about Valencia in the Europa League,” Emery told his post-match press conference.

“We have a big ambition in this competition. It’s a semi-final and it’s going to be difficult also. Then we play on Sunday against Brighton, and we need to win this match.

“At the beginning of the season we knew it was going to be very difficult, and today it’s the same.

“Our confidence can go up, can go down. But the most important is to be clear in our minds and our way. Our way is to think of this semi-final and prepare for the match in the best possible way.”