Arsenal dent Chelsea's Champions League hopes

Apr 22, 2012, 08:06 IST | AFP

Fresh from their Champions League win over Barca, Chelsea get a reality check as stalemate against Arsenal puts their qualification for Europe in jeopardy

Chelsea missed the opportunity to break into the top four of the Premier League on Saturday after grinding out a 0-0 draw with third-placed Arsenal at the Emirates. With Chelsea facing a daunting Champions League trip to Barcelona next week, manager Roberto Di Matteo rang the changes by naming only three members of the side that had beaten the Spaniards 1-0 in Wednesday’s first leg.

Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie shoots wide during Saturday’s EPL tie against Chelsea in London. Pic/AFP

The makeshift Chelsea line-up was able to keep Arsenal at bay for long periods as the Gunners were frustrated in their efforts to tighten their grip on an automatic Champions League qualifying berth. The result left Arsenal six points clear of fourth placed Tottenham, who have two games in hand over their north London rivals and play QPR later Saturday.

Chelsea could have leapfrogged over Spurs and Newcastle into fourth. Blues are currently in sixth place, four points outside the top four after Newcastle beat Stoke 3-0 to move into third place.

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