Arsenal have entered the Premier League safe zone

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta applauds at the end of the English Premier League football match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north-west of London on March 6, 2022. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta applauds at the end of the English Premier League football match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north-west of London on March 6, 2022. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Arsenal know exactly what they need to do this season. It’s top four and nothing but top four. But it wasn’t too long ago where a different picture was being painted.

If they are to drop into the Europa League places it would be unavoidably disappointing. Prior to the season beginning it would have been acceptable – within the context of the where Arsenal were – yet aspirations have now changed.

Getting themselves into a position ahead of facing Crystal Palace where they can move three points clear of Tottenham and six points ahead of Manchester United with a game in hand on both, there is no denying what the targets now are.

Furthermore, while an unhealthy position to hold, the Gunners would also move two points behind Chelsea in third. It may be elusive, but it’s dangerous to be looking up or down when straight ahead is all that can be controlled.

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal: Gunners reach Premier League safe zone with Mikel Arteta’s side now mathematically safe from relegation

Kicking off on Monday after the rest of the sides were already in action, what the weekend’s results also meant for Arsenal is something else: they can no longer be relegated.

What a truly landmark moment.

It means absolutely nothing as it was never going to happen. But it wasn’t long ago where that was the joke. When Tottenham sat atop the Premier League table after three matches and Arsenal were rock bottom people began using it as a well-deserved stick to beat the Gunners with.

Everyone knew there was too much quality in the team to go down, or at least that there were three worse teams, but the point remained that the situation was so dire that rival supporters were given the platform to poke fun.

Even last season there was a stage where defeat at Goodison Park – an eighth loss inside the opening 14 league matches – left Mikel Arteta’s side four points above the relegation zone having played two more games than 18th place Burnley. The situation was dire then, and it was dire three games into the season.

So it shows how quickly matters can change. From being the laughing stock of European football, Arsenal are now in a position with ten matches to go where a league finish without Champions League football would be a crushing blow on account of their tremendous improvements.

Predicted lineup vs Crystal Palace. dark. Next

The game at Crystal Palace is gigantic for this season, because every single one of the remaining games are exactly the same. Projections can be made but they achieve, nor determine, anything. There is added pressure on the team having played last in the matchweek, and while there are twists and turns to come, at least everyone can rest assured that relegation won’t be one of them.