Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's penalty miss at the end of the north London derby could prove to have huge ramifications in the battle for fourth place in the Premier League. The Gabonese had the opportunity to snatch Arsenal the three points at the death of their clash against Tottenham after being fouled by Davinson Sanchez. However, Aubameyang struck a poor penalty that was saved by Hugo Lloris, denying the Gunners the victory over their rivals.
Later in the day, Manchester United were able to unleash a comeback victory over Southampton courtesy of an 88th-minute winner from Romelu Lukaku. Chelsea overcame their EFL Cup final defeat to Manchester City - with the added drama of Kepa Arrizabalaga's substitution - in back-to-back matches against Spurs and Fulham, taking maximum points.
The incident regarding Kepa could have easily derailed the Blues' campaign, but head coach Maurizio Sarri has managed to regain control and has his team on course to at least challenge for a top-four berth until the end of the term. Due to their resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United are the favourites to secure the final spot in the Champions League next season in the sports betting section of the Mr Green App, although nine matches is a long time in football.
Chelsea have a game in hand on their rivals and can reclaim the position by taking three points from the additional contest. Fourth place is in the hands of Sarri's men, although their form has been inconsistent, to say the least. Chelsea have had issues on the road against the elite teams in the Premier League, losing to the Gunners along with Spurs and Manchester City.
The Blues still have to travel to United and Liverpool, which puts their hopes of beating out Solskjaer's men and Arsenal for the spot in jeopardy. Unless they are able to rise to the occasion at Old Trafford and Anfield along with remaining flawless in their other fixtures, it could be a battle between the Red Devils and Unai Emery's team for fourth place.
The clash between Arsenal and United could define the race for the top four. Although United have been impressive since the Norwegian assumed control in the dugout from Jose Mourinho, their best result came against Tottenham on the road in a 1-0 victory.
They've been free-flowing against the teams outside of the top six, scoring goals aplenty as the shackles of old have been broken. However, their vulnerabilities were exposed in their Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford. All of the issues have not been remedied by Solskjaer and could be exposed in the games down the stretch under the most pressure.
The Gunners missed a huge opportunity for a morale-boosting victory over Spurs that could have ignited a late-season push to finish in the top four. Outside of their clash against United, they do not face a team in the top six for the rest of the campaign. Arsenal have been poor on the road this term and the win over their rivals would have proven a huge point, especially with games against Everton and Wolves to come away from the Emirates Stadium.
Aubameyang's miss could prove to be very costly down the stretch in a race for the Champions League that could be decided by a point. He has the quality to atone for his error, but whether his miss was a symptom of a character flaw in Arsenal remains to be seen.