Arsenal’s fragility on the road returned as a 3-1 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday put a huge dent in their hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Arsenal needed only a point to reclaim fourth spot from Chelsea but conceded three times before the break.
Unai Emery’s side were stunned as Wolves recovered from a slow start to take the lead with a stunning Ruben Neves free kick before Matt Doherty headed a second in the 37th minute.
It got even worse for Arsenal in first-half stoppage time as they carelessly gave the ball away in midfield and Diogo Jota surged through to fire a shot past Bernd Leno.
A late Sokratis header from Granit Xhaka’s cross was scant consolation for the Gunners fans who had made the trip to the Midlands.
With three games left, Arsenal remain in fifth place, a point behind Chelsea and four behind third-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Wolves moved into seventh spot — a position that could offer a route into European football next season.
Unai Emery took the blame for the club’s woes yet again on the road, their second defeat in succession.
“I usually am very disciplined with myself [but] I am angry with myself,” Emery said. “We didn’t do the game plan like I wanted.
“I am not angry with the players, I am angry with myself. My idea and my style is to look in front and find a solution. Not to find who the player is who is playing worse or why they are not doing all we spoke about before.
“First I find the solution. The solution for me [now] is to think about Sunday and take the possibility on Sunday to come back with our best performance and our best competitive team for the possibility to take the three points.
“When we win, we win together, and when we lose, we lose together. In general, I think we are with the possibility to be in the top four and today we lost having it in our hands. [We need to] continue and I want to tell the players and the supporters to continue and take the opportunity on Sunday.”