Arsene Wenger has given up on a top four finish and will prioritise success in the Europa League after they slumped to another defeat at Brighton.
Arsenal are sixth in the Premier League, 13 points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham with only nine game remaining.
‘We have to be realistic,’ said Wenger. ‘It’s very difficult, nearly impossible, we are too far behind.
‘We need two teams to collapse not one if we are to qualify for the Champions League and I don’t see that happening.
‘We have to give our best as long as we can and the Europa League becomes important.
‘At the moment we have different worries in how to come back to winning a game.’
Wenger remained defiant about his own position despite protests from fans at Brighton calling for his sacking.
‘I understand the frustration but what can I say?’ said the Arsenal manager of more than 21 years.
Asked if he thought he could turn the tide he said: ‘yes because I’ve done it before. A quality of a manager is to shorten a crisis and I believe I can do that.’
Goalkeeper Petr Cech took responsibility for the goals by Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray which put Brighton 2-0 up inside 26 minutes.
On Twitter, Cech said: ‘if you want to win a game away from home in the best league in the world your GK can’t concede two goals like I did today. It’s simply not possible. The team fought back but the damage was done.’
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled one back but Arsenal could not salvage a point and crashed to a fourth successive defeat.
On Sky Sports, legend Thierry Henry claimed it was no surprise.
‘I expected it unfortunately,’ said Henry. ‘Thats what bothers me the most and I’m trying to be honest here.
‘I wanted to come here and praise Arsenal… but did I expect to win at Brighton? No. Did I hope? Yes. Am I surprised? No. On my way to the gantry someone said unbelievable and I turned around and said believable.’