Arsenal may play Chelsea in a play-off for third place finish.

Posted: May 14, 2013 in Sports

Arsene Wenger and Rafa Benitez could face the nightmare of a play-off for third place.

Arsenal, who beat Wigan 4-1 on Tuesday, and Chelsea are agonisingly close to finishing with the same points, same goal difference, and even the same number of goals scored and conceded after this weekend’s final round of matches.

If the Gunners win 2-1 at Newcastle on Sunday and the Stamford Bridge club draw 0-0 at home Everton, the clubs will be tied with identical figures.

The Premier League confirmed on Tuesday night that Chelsea’s home-and-away wins over their London rivals would not be used as a tie-breaker and that, instead, there would be a play-off for third place – with ­automatic entry to the Champions League’s group phase at stake.

The losers would finish fourth and have to negotiate a two-leg play-off in August to reach the Champions League proper,

The situation is complicated by the fact that Chelsea head straight off to the United States after Sunday’s matches to play Manchester City in two friendlies on May 23 and 25.

After that, England play two friendlies, against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on May 29 and Brazil in Rio on June 2.

The victory over Wigan makes it nine games without defeat for Arsenal, and goalscorer Aaron Ramsey said: “It’s a perfect way to finish the season here.

“We did what we had to do. Now we have one game left to get the job done and get that Champions League place


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