How Liverpool’s Carabao Cup victory will affect Arsenal, Man United and Tottenham in the race for Europe


Liverpool’s final victory in the Carabao Cup could be good news for Arsenal.

On a weekend when Manchester United were held to a goalless draw by Watford to give the Gunners a major boost in the top four race, Mikel Arteta’s side may have taken a step more towards his return to Europe next season after the events at Wembley. Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

After 120 minutes of entertaining action, the 2022 Carabao Cup final was decided by a penalty shootout as Kepa Arrizabalaga’s insane effort proved to be the decisive blow.

Following the end of Manchester City’s dominance by Liverpool in the Carabao Cup, the race for European football qualification has become even clearer for Arsenal, Man United and Tottenham Hotspur.

However, with the introduction of the Europa Conference League (UECL) – UEFA’s third club tournament – things are going to get a bit complicated again.

The new UEFA tournament was first announced at the start of last season and kicked off in July with the first qualifying round.

For teams in England, qualification for the tournament is extremely simple as Carabao Cup winners are rewarded with a place in the UECL, regardless of their position in the Premier League table.

And with Liverpool emerging victorious, that means the UECL spot should pass to the next Premier League-eligible side.

Indeed, Jurgen Klopp’s side are on course to qualify for the Champions League next season thanks to their position in English football’s top flight.

Moreover, with the Reds as well as Chelsea and Manchester City still in the FA Cup, another European berth could open up if one of the aforementioned trio lifts the trophy and then finishes in the top five.

A view of the UEFA Europa Conference League trophy. (Image: Richard Juilliart – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

This means that the UECL place could go to the team that finishes seventh as long as the FA Cup AND League Cup winners finish in the top five.

If Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, West Ham United or Spurs finish in the top four and win the FA Cup, the fifth-placed team will also get Europa League football next season.

In this scenario, the sixth-placed team will also enter the Europa League and the reward for finishing seventh would be a place in the Europa Conference League.

However, Leicester City and a Europa League rule change may offer a new twist in the race for European qualification.

With the Foxes in the knockout stages of the Europa Conference League, the rule according to UEFAif they are the first winner of the competition, states: “The winner will obtain a place in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League the following season if they have not qualified for the UEFA Champions League via their national competition.

With Brendan Rodgers’ side unlikely to make the top four this season, they pose a threat to Arsenal, Man United, West Ham, Wolves and Spurs for a Europa League spot next season.

And because England only have two teams in Europe’s second-tier club competition, that means Leicester and the side that finish fifth in the Premier League could progress to the Europa League next season.

Also, the team that finishes sixth would get a spot in the Europa Conference League. Therefore, in this particular scenario, finishing outside the top six will mean no European football in 2022/2023.

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After experiencing a season without European football for the first time in more than two decades, Arsenal won’t want to repeat themselves anytime soon and can take solace in the fact that they are well on their way to a top-six finish.

In fact, they currently trail fourth-placed Man United by two points and with three games less, there’s a good chance the Gunners will be back at Europe’s top table next season.

But there are going to be more twists and turns in the fight for European qualification by May.

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