Everton winger Kevin Mirallas has told Arsenal that the pressure is on them in the race to finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League.
The Toffees’ 3-0 Premier League victory against Arsenal on Sunday moved them within a point of Arsene Wenger’s side with a game in hand.
That puts Everton in the driving seat, and following six wins in a row they have momentum on their side while Arsenal have the pressure of maintaining a 16-year run of qualifying for the Champions League and the collapse of their title challenge.
Mirallas told the Liverpool Echo: “There’s so much pressure on Arsenal now because things are in our hands. They are almost obliged to be in the Champions League, that’s what they do.
“They’ve qualified for years, but we are breathing down their necks and we can go fourth if we win our game in hand.
“It was a fantastic performance. It was a must-win fixture for us and we knew it was vital we scored first.
“We were confident that if we did that we’d go on to get the points and thankfully that’s what happened.
“We know having won that, with our game in hand we can grab fourth place ourselves.
“It would be great to make the Champions League, for everyone here.
“Each and every one of us, but we need to keep going and hope it can happen.
“I have played in that competition at two of my previous clubs and when I signed for Everton that was my ambition to achieve it again in my career.
“That’s what I’m dreaming of now.”
Everton lost 4-1 to Arsenal in the FA Cup quarterfinals in March, and Mirallas said that result had a large bearing on the Toffees’ motivation for this fixture, with many players keen to make amends for the manner of their cup exit.
“We sat and had a good deep think in the dressing room at the Emirates after the quarterfinal,” he said.
“Then we said we have to put that behind us and concentrate on the league. We looked at it and said there were 10 games and enough points for us to really fight for fourth.
“We were determined to get some kind of revenge because we conceded four goals down there and it hurt. This was excellent revenge. We’re in the right place.”