Arsenal for Champions League qualification after Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City?


Manchester City humbled Arsenal in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday – but history suggests the Gunners could now be on track for a top-four finish.

Over the past decade, League Cup runners-up have proceeded to climb two places in the final Premier League table, on average – with eight out of 10 improving their league standing.

Arsene Wenger’s side currently sit sixth in the Premier League and a two-place rise would lift Arsenal into fourth spot to claim automatic Champions League qualification.

However, Arsenal are the only team to have slipped down the table after losing the competition at Wembley since 2008 – falling from second to fourth following defeat to Birmingham in February, 2011.

North London rivals Tottenham lost the League Cup final against Manchester United in 2009, but climbed from 14th to eighth in the league come May.

Last season, Southampton were 13th in the Premier League when they suffered a 3-2 defeat to United at Wembley – but ended the season five positions higher in eighth.

League Two Bradford City and Sunderland both improved their league standings by four places after a League Cup final defeat in 2013 and 2014, respectively – with the latter moving out of the relegation zone to secure top-flight football.

In addition, runners-up Chelsea, Aston Villa, Tottenham and Liverpool also experienced league upturns after Wembley heartbreak.

In contrast, only one of the previous 10 League Cup winners have improved their league position – with Manchester City climbing three places to win the Premier League title in 2014.

Of the 10 previous winners, seven finished the season in exactly the same position they held upon their League Cup triumph, while Birmingham slipped two places in 2011 and Liverpool dropped one spot in 2012.

So, history suggests that teams react positively and rise two places in the Premier League after League Cup disappointment, which would land Arsenal a top-four spot and Champions League qualification without having to win the Europa League – provided they don’t repeat their decline of 2011.


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