The tale of Arsenal's long, slow, undeniable decline is a topic for another day. For now, though, don't write the Gunners out of the race for a top-four finish just yet.
Arsenal defeated Swansea City 2-0 on Saturday in Wales, avenging a league loss to Michael Laudrup's team by the same scoreline at the Emirates Stadium in December—and, more importantly, pulling Arsenal briefly within two points of Chelsea for fourth place.
On Sunday, Chelsea won and Tottenham lost, putting Chelsea up into third a point ahead of Spurs with a game in hand. Four points behind Tottenham sit Arsenal, also with a game in hand.
In the absence of a title race, this could be the most interesting viewing left in the top half of the table.
Since the loss to Spurs in the North London Derby two weeks ago, Arsenal's top-four birthright had seemed in imminent peril. Arsene Wenger's men remain outside the Champions League places after Saturday's win, but to hear him tell it, the victory might have meant more than just points in the table.
"I have come out many times and said I'm a big admirer of the attitude of this team," Wenger said (via The Independent). "Wednesday's big win has transformed the belief of the team, and we have struggled to find that this season."
It wasn't just beating Swansea. Arsenal also defeated Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League midweek, and even though the Gunners still went out of the competition, the effects of such a prestigious conquest were evident Saturday.
Locked in a scoreless draw in the second half, Arsenal produced two late goals—including one from the beleaguered forward Gervinho in stoppage time—at precisely the right time. It was exactly what Swansea did at the Emirates earlier this season, and it suggested a new resolve in Wenger's players.
Added Wenger: "We have shown we are up for the fight and we'll do that until the end of the season. One advantage for us is we know what is expected of us, we have already been in this situation before. We have the right spirit and attitude."
Of course, those who have watched Arsenal for any amount of time this season will know that a positive result won't necessarily translate from week to week. If they are to finish fourth this season, though, Arsenal must reverse that trend.