Mat Ryan says Arsenal are still aiming to qualify for the Champions League, despite a couple of poor results this week.

Arsenal's Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan (R) saves a shot from Aston Villa's English midfielder Jack Grealish (C) during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on February 6, 2021. (Photo by SHAUN BOTTERILL / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan (R) saves a shot from Aston Villa’s English midfielder Jack Grealish (C) during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on February 6, 2021. (Photo by SHAUN BOTTERILL / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal suffered a pretty big blow to their chances of finishing near the top four this week, losing consecutive matches to Wolves and Aston Villa.

Results elsewhere mean Mikel Arteta’s side are actually still just nine points off fourth place, but with at least six teams between them and the Champions League spots, if not more – depending on results in other games in hand.

All the same, Mat Ryan thinks there’s enough season left for Arsenal to be in with a shot.

“There is still a lot of the season left and hopefully we can finish it off strongly and get up and around the European places and qualify for the Champions League,” Ryan said.

“Coming here, being honest, I probably didn’t think I was going to get a Premier League game, so it’s a bonus.

“I was happy to put in, I think, on the initial perception of it, a good performance. I’ve come here now, and I will continue to work with Bernd and Alex [Runarsson] and the other goalkeepers in the team.”

Arsenal need to start getting results against the big teams if they want to have any hope now. In a way, they’re in a good position to do so, hosting all of Manchester City, Liverpool, and Spurs and only travelling away to Chelsea. But those fixtures are never easy.

Of course, there’s also the Europa League route to Champions League football. Arsenal face Benfica in the next round, kicking off next week on Thursday. Get a result in that one and it keeps another avenue alive.

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