Mikel Arteta has not given up hope about Arsenal qualifying to play in Europe next season despite their fate lying in the hands of teams above them on the Premier League table.

The Gunners boss was speaking after their hard fought 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. Arteta wants his team to keep fighting until it is mathematically impossible to qualify with two games remaining until the campaign concludes.

Arsenal is currently in eighth place with 55 points and is just one point behind arch rival Tottenham Hotspur. Ryan Mason's team currently occupies what could be the final spot for the newly formed Europa Conference League, which begins next season.

However, Spurs have played one game less than Arsenal but have a tougher run in with a clash against top-4 chasing Leicester City. Everton are the Gunners' other rivals for a place in Europe and the Toffees are currently level on points in ninth but have two games in hand, which gives them a major advantage over both the north London clubs.

"Well it's mathematically possible, we keep saying that, so we have to give ourselves the best chance in the last games to see if that's achievable," Arteta said after the win, as quoted on the club's official site.

Arteta was also asked about Arsenal's plans going forward and if the focus had already shifted to getting the squad ready for next season. The Gunners could find themselves out of Europe for the first time in 25 years and the manager has admitted that multiple changes are needed to get back on track.

The Spanish manager, however, made it clear that their focus remains on the final two games of the campaign. Arteta is certain that positive performances in both games will have an impact going into next season.

"What we are trying to do is to prepare the best possible way to win every game, with the players that we have, with the amount of games that they have played and how much they are trying. Next season will be a different season, we have to focus on trying to do our best now because it will have an impact on next season," the Arsenal manager said.

Mikel Arteta
The pressure mounted on Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta after a 1-0 home defeat to Burnley Laurence Griffiths/POOL