Victory over Watford at Vicarage Road on Monday represented a potential turning point in the final fight for a successful season.
The Gunners are still challenging in the Premier League for a top-four spot and fighting for silverware in the Europa League, both potential avenues to the Champions League next season.
The Watford match itself will be remembered for a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bizarre goal in the ninth minute that rebounded off a miskicked Ben Foster clearance.
Just a minute later Watford’s Troy Deeney was sent off for a rash and unnecessary elbow which he later defended in a post-match interview.
Despite losing their captain and talisman, Watford continued to push and exerted considerable pressure searching for an equaliser.
What ensued was a frantic first half with end to end action that would’ve given any Arsenal fan anxiety that could’ve well been avoided. Perhaps the Gunners should’ve done better to close the game down but they did create a whole host of attempts of their own.
Aubameyang was the standout performer in the first half with a number of close-cut chances to make it two or even three. Arsenal started the second half strongly with a Henrikh Mkhitaryan effort deflected off goalkeeper Ben Foster, followed by a flurry of chances to try and finish the game off.
FA Cup finalists Watford are certainly no pushovers. They’ve been rejuvenated under Spanish manager Javi Gracia, playing penetrative and dangerous football at times.
Beating Watford away from home could be a watershed moment in Arsenal’s season. Form at home has been exceptional, but it’s on the road where they’ve let themselves down.
The Gunners have won the last 10 league games at home in the league and are undefeated in 16 out of 17 Premier League games at the Emirates, only succumbing to Manchester City on the opening day of the season.
Their record on the road has been a different story altogether. They’ve recorded six losses, three draws and just six wins away from home in the league as of Monday night.
Before Monday’s fixture, Arsenal hadn’t won away from home in the league since Huddersfield back in February. It comes as a welcome relief to get a much needed three points from a tough away tie.
If Arsenal are to see the season out they’ll need to capitalise on away form, both in the league and in Europe. Their next test comes against a Napoli side who are second in Italy only to Turin giants Juventus. It will be a good barometer of how they are to cope for the remainder of the season.
The Gunners go into the Europa League quarter-final second leg with a healthy 2-0 lead over the Napolitani. They had a spirited performance at the Emirates but could’ve added another to further distance themselves and make the away tie a much easier prospect.
Napoli represent Arsenal’s toughest European test so far this season, and building on a win against Watford away from home will only increase confidence. They’ll have to be careful, but they can afford to lose by a single goal.
Drawing or even winning the match against Napoli will provide much needed forward momentum coming into the closing fixtures of the season, not least in the league.
Upcoming away fixtures in the league include difficult trips to the Midlands to meet Wolves and Leicester, while also a trip up north to a struggling Burnley.
To follow Arsenal’s fortunes at home and on the road, in the Premier League and in Europe, BetBlazers betting experts have free betting tips and the best comparison for betting sites across the market.