This was never going to be the night that will define Arsenal’s season and the level of pressure Mikel Arteta will face in the months ahead: that is in five days’ time in Prague. But with that in mind, a performance and a result to set up a match which will dictate whether the Gunners’ best avenue into Europe next season remains open was certainly welcome for Arteta.

Granted, if they could have picked a side to face before their return leg against Slavia Prague on Thursday, it would have been Sheffield United. Painfully lacking in quality once again, their relegation from the Premier League could be confirmed as soon as next weekend after another meek display against a side themselves somewhat shorn of confidence following recent displays.

Related: Sheffield United v Arsenal: Premier League – live!

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