Mikel Arteta has challenged Arsenal to improve and show they are the real deal again next season.

The Gunners ended a campaign of obvious progress with a 5-0 thrashing of Wolves on the final day, which meant they finished only five points behind champions Manchester City.

Arsenal had been top of the Premier League for 248 days before a run of two wins in eight fixtures during the closing weeks of the season saw their title quest end on the penultimate weekend.

Finishing as runners-up behind City means Champions League football will return to the Emirates for the first time since 2017 and, while Arteta was delighted to achieve their initial goal this season, he is well aware of the work required to kick on this summer.

“We wanted to bring the club back to the Champions League, that was the main target,” he said.

“That was obviously a big demand in the summer before we did certain things and before we managed to keep some of our players.

“Then the journey started and day by day, you start to have a feeling that the team is moving in the right direction and the energy and spirit is really good. Then you start to generate some belief.

“We didn’t expect to finish where we are. I think it’s the third best record in the club, with the history of the club, the most wins ever.

“It’s a lot but it’s still not enough to win it. We understand where the level is. If we want to be the real deal, we can’t be happy with what we have, and we have to be next season much better.

“I think we have some great foundations, that is true but in sport you have to prove it again.

“You have to be back in the first day of pre-season and look at each other and I don’t want to see any complacency or, ‘we’ve done really well and its OK’.

“We are going to have to be much better. It will be a challenging season but a season with plenty of opportunities and one of those opportunities is to be consistent, to do it again and be better. This is what we have to demand from each other.”

Gabriel Jesus was on target against Wolves with Bukayo Saka, Jakub Kiwior and Granit Xhaka also scoring, the latter netting twice in what is expected to be his final appearance for Arsenal.

Jesus’ second-half header ensured he finished his debut campaign for the Gunners with 11 goals and he is excited about the direction the club are heading.

He told the official club website: “It was good. Unfortunately, we didn’t win a trophy which was our target, but I think we had a good season, very good.

“We are building a good atmosphere from inside and outside, the fans coming with us always supporting, pushing us.

“I am so excited (for next season). I was a little bit unlucky about my injury, I missed a big part of the season but my mentality has always been my fitness and then to help my team, so next my main target is to be fit all season and help my team.”

There remains a large degree of uncertainty for Wolves ahead of next season with boss Julen Lopetegui revealing Joao Moutinho, Adama Traore and Diego Costa could leave on free transfers due to the club’s financial problems.

“This is a problem. You have players that you want to re-sign but you can’t because it is like a new signing in the financial terms,” the Spaniard explained.

“I am not a financial adviser, I am a coach. We will see.

“I know the sporting directors, they have to work very, very hard these five months and they have different targets for the squad but to execute any target, you need to know how much money you have. If not, it is impossible.”

Mikel Arteta remained tight-lipped about the future of Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka but was pleased to see him get the appreciation he deserved after their 5-0 thrashing of Wolves.

Xhaka netted a first-half double in what is expected to be his final appearance for the Gunners with a summer exit to Bayer Leverkusen in the works and left the pitch to a standing ovation in the 75th minute with supporters’ urging him to stay.

It completes a remarkable turnaround for the Swiss international, who saw his relationship with the Emirates crowd reach an all-time low in the winter of 2019 during a home match with Crystal Palace where he chucked his shirt on the floor before subsequently being stripped of the captaincy.

Arteta convinced Xhaka not to leave Arsenal during the following transfer window and his brace on the final-day saw the 30-year-old finish the campaign with nine goals, his best ever tally.

Asked about Xhaka’s impending departure, Arteta responded: “You know that?

“It’s news for me.”

The Gunners boss was more forthcoming about the reception Xhaka received before, during and after the emphatic victory over Wolves.

“Well deserved. He’s had an incredible season,” Arteta said.

“I think one year back I spoke to him and I told him ‘there’s a question mark on you, you have to deliver more, you have to be better, I’m going to challenge you to play here.’

“He went back and I think he started to train the next day. He came back in preseason four kilos less, fit, with this (focused) face and really willing to do it. He’s been exceptional.

“He’s been a key part of the team, the success of the team and I’m so happy everybody is appreciating what he’s done.”

While the final-day clash was not the league title celebration Arsenals fans would have hoped for back in April, when they held an eight-point lead over champions Manchester City, Arteta’s side still concluded their campaign in front of a party atmosphere.

After Xhaka’s quickfire double, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus and Jakub Kiwior netted to earn the hosts a 26th league win of the campaign.

When Arteta addressed the packed Emirates crowd after full-time, he was repeatedly serenaded and the Spaniard expressed his delight at finishing on a good note.

He added: “It was really nice the way they transmitted their love and support to the team, to every player, and obviously to me as well.

“It’s been a really emotional year and a very special season. The team and our people deserved to end it in a good way so I’m really happy.

“It was one of my big dreams to connect again with the soul of this football club – that’s our people. We have done that and there’s no discussion about it. That makes me really proud and grateful to be part of that journey together.

“We want to deliver together success and the destination has to be trophies and success for this club, but we have to enjoy the journey together and especially the company.

“I said it especially there because we have special people in this club, an incredible group of players and an amazing support.

“That has to be enjoyed because at the end it’s about winning or not winning the margin, but you cannot underestimate those other things. I think if we don’t do it then we will regret it.”

It proved a memorable finish for Arsenal, but not for Wolves or their manager Julen Lopetegui.

Lopetegui’s future is uncertain given the financial troubles of the Molineux club and he warned another “miracle” is not guaranteed next season.

“We have lost against one of the best teams in the Premier League but the way we have lost, I am not happy,” he said.

“I don’t want to forgot that the second part of season the team has made has been fantastic, being out of relegation (zone) three matches before end.

“That is why I highlight the merit of the players. Maybe it (survival) has been a little miracle and we have to learn for the future.

“Maybe one miracle is possible, two no. That is why you have to learn for the future to be able to improve and do our hard work.”

Granit Xhaka marked his farewell appearance for Arsenal with a brace to help the Premier League runners-up finish their fine campaign with a 5-0 thrashing of Wolves.

Xhaka is set to depart the Emirates this summer to join Bayer Leverkusen and signed off a rollercoaster seven years in north London on a high with a first-half double, although he did later miss a great chance for his hat-trick.

It failed to spoil the perfect goodbye for the previously much-maligned former Arsenal captain with Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus and Jakub Kiwior also on target to ensure Mikel Arteta’s men regrouped from their title disappointment at Nottingham Forest last weekend to secure a 26th league win of the season.

While Xhaka’s impending departure had yet to be confirmed, the huge cheer that greeted his name before kick off played into the narrative this was his final Arsenal outing.

It was the latest evidence of his own remarkable turnaround with the Emirates crowd, who he had clashed with so memorable in the winter of 2019 during a match with Crystal Palace – an incident that saw him stripped of the captaincy and on the verge of leaving before Arteta’s intervention.

Xhaka immediately set about living up to his lead role with a strong tackle on Matheus Nunes a matter of seconds into the contest.

While Nunes saw a fierce effort headed away by Gabriel Jesus during the opening exchanges, it did not take long for Arsenal and their number 34 to open the scoring after 11 minutes.

Unorthodox right-back Thomas Partey passed out wide to Jesus and his whipped cross was headed home by Xhaka from close range to begin his farewell in style.

After a group celebration with his team-mates, the Swiss international held his hands out in a thank you gesture to the home fans in the Clock End.

Three minutes later and Xhaka made it 2-0 to Arsenal.

Saka dribbled past Hugo Bueno before Martin Odegaard flicked on his pass, which Wolves captain Max Kilman sliced into the path of Xhaka, who side-footed beyond Jose Sa from six yards.

Xhaka celebrated his ninth goal of the season, the best tally of his career, by running over to embrace injured midfielder Mohamed Elneny, the only player still at the club from when he joined in 2016.

Arsenal were not ready to take their foot off the gas and Arteta watched his side move into a three-goal lead in the 27th-minute.

Odegaard and Leandro Trossard exchanged passes before the latter found Saka, who checked back inside Kilman brilliantly and curled into the corner to mark his new contract with a 15th goal this season.

It should have been 4-0 soon after.

A one-two between Saka and Odegaard on the right saw the goalscorer scuff an effort across the face of goal, but Xhaka fluffed his lines from 10 yards and sliced wide with a hat-trick at his mercy.

Wolves were able to avoid any further damage before half-time and Julen Lopetegui introduced Ruben Neves and Rayan Ait-Nouri but it failed to stem the tide.

Partey had the ball in the net for Arsenal in the 52nd minute but his joy was short-lived with the goal ruled out after Ben White had barged into Wolves goalkeeper Sa.

The Gunners faithful did not have to wait too much longer for the fourth goal.

Arsenal hurt the visitors down the left this time with Trossard able to chip in for Jesus to power home a header at the back post in the 58th minute.

All that was left was Xhaka’s farewell with the midfielder substituted to a standing ovation in the 75th minute, which was followed with chants urging him to stay.

Kiwior grabbed a fifth with 12 minutes left when he lashed home from a corner that Sa should have saved before Arsenal’s season ended to the backdrop of a partisan atmosphere at a sun-soaked Emirates with the home fans hoping this is just the beginning for Arteta’s young team.

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui insists it is unfair to label Arsenal as bottlers after their title challenge faltered.

The Gunners will finish second behind Manchester City having topped the table for the majority of the season.

They held an eight-point lead in March but dropped crucial points against Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton in the run-in before losing 4-1 at City in April.

Arsenal’s defeats to Brighton and Nottingham Forest handed City a third straight title but, ahead of Wolves’ trip to the Emirates for Sunday’s Premier League finale, Lopetegui feels the Gunners do not deserve criticism for coming second.

“Of course (they don’t). It’s an incredible league and in the end they lost to Manchester City in one of the last matches,” he said.

“They have done fantastic work – you only have to look at the teams that finished below them, incredible teams.

“So I praise Mikel (Arteta) for his fantastic work. I remember he had big problems when he arrived two years ago but they showed faith and belief in him and now they are collecting the rewards.

“He’s improved the team and changed a lot of players and put a lot of quality on the pitch and produced fantastic answers.

“Now they have an incredible project in front of them.

“That’s the merit of Mikel – fantastic work. In the same way, it highlights the merit of the club and the sporting director because he wouldn’t be able to do what he’s done without the belief in him.

“In football to believe in the mid term or long term is very difficult.

“It’s generally always short term. I think they are reaping the rewards for that belief and I’m happy for them because the teams that show patience and work a lot for the future deserve to have success.”

Lopetegui remains in talks with Wolves over his future having guided them to mid-table safety. He is looking for clarification on the amount of backing he will receive in the summer with financial fair play restricting the club’s spending power.

He wants to revamp the squad with several expected to leave including Ruben Neves and the out-of-contract Joao Moutinho and Adama Traore but Lopetegui suggested Raul Jimenez still has a Wolves future.

“Raul has another year on his contract with us and for me it’s not his last match with us. He’s our player,” he said.

“Raul is our player and he’s under contract. I hope he continues with us.”

Julen Lopetegui admits the uncertainly surrounding his future cannot be allowed to drag on.

The former Real Madrid manager’s long-term future at Molineux has been in the spotlight.

Financial fair play regulations will impact the club’s spending power this summer and Lopetegui has previously said he only discovered the constraints last week.

He has been calling for investment since securing Premier League safety and the manager will continue to speak to chairman Jeff Shi about what backing he will receive – but knows there needs to be a quick resolution.

He said: “I hope – we will see.

“I want to solve the problems. Maybe me or the club aren’t able to solve them 100 per cent, but I think we have to try, for our fans, for our club, for our history and for our future.

“If we want to be demanding in the future we have to demand now with ourselves and with this summer.

“I have a contract and I’ve been here for six months. I’m very happy here and I hope I can continue being happy here.

“But we have a problem and we must be honest and look each other in the eyes to try to solve the problems.

“Maybe not 100 per cent, but maybe 80 per cent, who knows?

“This is all. About my future, I have a contract and we will see what is going to happen, This is football, we don’t know.

“We have to talk, it’s not about one or two days. We have to talk about the solution and the future to be able to have a squad ready to compete again.

“This year has been a wake-up call. We have to learn why it has happened and to overcome and make our homework this summer. It’s not about one or two days. We need a clear picture.

“It’s important to have the squad ready. Maybe not 100 per cent of players but maybe 90 per cent. For me it’s very important, to have the squad ready to start working with us on July 1.”

Wolves to go Arsenal for Sunday’s Premier League finale and Joao Moutinho will not feature and is likely to have played his last game for the club as he is out of contract in the summer.

Sasa Kalajdzic (knee) is out while Lopetegui himself is banned from the touchline for collecting four yellow cards.

He added: “On Sunday we have an important match because it’s the last of the season. They have been very close to winning the Premier League and will want to make a good match in front of their fans. We have to be ready to compete with them.”

Boss Julen Lopetegui will continue talks with Wolves about his future.

Lopetegui’s long-term future at Molineux has been in the spotlight with uncertainty about his position.

Financial fair play regulations will impact the club’s spending power this summer and Lopetegui has previously said he only discovered the constraints last week.

He has been calling for investment since securing Premier League safety and the manager will continue to speak to chairman Jeff Shi about what backing he will receive.

He said: “We will see, we have to discuss with the chairman and owners. The most important thing is what the solution is going to be. When you have a problem you have to solve the problem.

“This is all. About my future, I have a contract and we will see what is going to happen, This is football, we don’t know.

“We have to talk, it’s not about one or two days. We have to talk about the solution and the future to be able to have a squad ready to compete again.

“This year has been a wake-up call. We have to learn why it has happened and to overcome and make our homework this summer. It’s not about one or two days. We need a clear picture.

“It’s important to have the squad ready. Maybe not 100 per cent of players but maybe 90 per cent. For me it’s very important, to have the squad ready to start working with us on July 1.”

Wolves to go Arsenal for Sunday’s Premier League finale and Joao Moutinho will not feature and is likely to have played his last game for the club as he is out of contract in the summer.

Sasa Kalajdzic (knee) is out while Lopetegui himself is banned from the touchline for collecting four yellow cards.

He added: “On Sunday we have an important match because it’s the last of the season. They have been very close to winning the Premier League and will want to make a good match in front of their fans. We have to be ready to compete with them.”

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui wants clarification on the club’s transfer plans this summer amid doubts about his future at the club beyond the end of the season.

The Spaniard succeeded Bruno Lage when Wolves were bottom of the Premier League table in November and has overseen a remarkable turnaround in fortunes as they are safe with one game of the campaign to go.

Lopetegui insists he does not want to break the bank as he seeks to consolidate Wolves’ position next term, but there are Financial Fair Play concerns to consider over the next few months.

“When I came here, I came very happy with a big commitment, in a very hard situation for the club,” he told reporters.

“All of us put everything into these months, always thinking, if we are able to save the team, we will be able to dream for different things. But one thing is the dream, another is the reality.

“I have to balance what the real situation is for us. I am not asking for incredible signings. I am thinking of signing good players, young players, maybe Championship players, I don’t know.

“I am not thinking we are going to sign from Real Madrid or Barcelona, no. I am aware of our reality.”

While there is uncertainty surrounding Lopetegui, the former Spain and Real Madrid coach, who has two years left to run on his deal, says he still plans to be at Wolves next season.

“I have a contract here,” he added. “I am a coach for next year here now. But we will see what will happen because this is football.

“I have a responsibility here and I want to be responsible and know the final picture and I am going to take my opinion for the chairman.”

Boss Sean Dyche called for one final push from Everton after they snatched a dramatic point in their fight for survival.

Yerry Mina’s last-gasp leveller earned a 1-1 draw at Wolves as the Toffees continued to cling to their Premier League status.

The equaliser, in the ninth minute of stoppage time, cancelled out Hwang Hee-chan’s first-half opener.

But if Leeds beat West Ham on Sunday, they will move above the Toffees and push them into the relegation zone – Leicester can also overhaul them with victory at Newcastle on Monday.

Everton – two points above the drop zone – host Bournemouth on the final day of the Premier League season but face a nervous wait to see if they will start the game in the bottom three.

“I was really pleased with the mentality of the players. There’s no excuses from me, no excuses from them,” said Dyche, who confirmed Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Nathan Patterson suffered hamstring injuries.

“This is the challenge right in front of us. I told them that at half-time. It’s not about shapes and tactics, it’s about mentality.

“I’m really pleased for them, we all got the reward for putting in a proper shift and trying and never losing the belief we could score.

“We need it for next week, quite obviously, but it’s a mentality which has grown and I’m very pleased with that side. It shows a strong sign of what the group has become.

“There was a lot of noise around the club (when Dyche arrived in January) and we calmed that a little bit. There was a lot of noise about the team, we missed some important players – one being Dom so there was a lot of noise about him.

“There have been a lot of challenges, I’m not bothered about making excuses. So what can we do? It wasn’t about ‘woe is us’ it was about ‘what can we do to affect this game?'”

Everton started well with Calvert-Lewin twice going close before getting caught on the break for the opener after 34 minutes.

Abdoulaye Doucoure’s pass was seized on by Adama Traore who raced 70 yards, brushing off Amadou Onana’s challenge and forcing Jordan Pickford into a smart save – only for Hwang to gobble up the rebound.

Calvert-Lewin, who had been battling a groin problem, then limped off in stoppage time to add to Everton’s problems.

From then, it looked like curtains at Molineux as the Toffees struggled to create meaningful chances – with Alex Iwobi firing wide and Daniel Bentley saving from Demarai Gray.

Wolves had a degree of control and Pickford needed to save from Matheus Nunes as the game entered nine minutes of stoppage time.

Everton threw men forward and it eventually paid off in the final seconds.

Gray’s cross was kept alive by James Tarkowski as he challenged Bentley and Michael Keane knocked it back for Mina to stab in from five yards.

“Yes, a lot (of injury time). It was the first time I have seen it in the Premier League,” said Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui, who has guided the team to a mid-table finish.

“It’s done, it was a pity. Nine minutes is a lot but they scored the goal in the time, we have to defend better.

“It’s football, we won at Everton in the last minute and today we lost two points. Maybe we deserved to win more here than there. It wasn’t easy to play this kind of match, against a team who are fighting to survive. It’s a final for them.”

Striker Raul Jimenez was denied a possible farewell appearance as an unused substitute before walking down the tunnel before full-time.

Lopetegui added: “He was not happy but I always try to be honest with the players. You can’t make all the things perfect as a coach. You have to take the emotion out of the situation.”

Yerry Mina’s last-gasp leveller at Wolves earned Everton a priceless point in their fight for Premier League survival.

The defender struck with seconds left to grab a 1-1 draw to give the Toffees hope after Hwang Hee-chan had given Wolves a first-half lead.

Their 69-year stay in the top flight remains in doubt and Sean Dyche’s side could still find themselves in the drop zone before next week’s finale.

Leeds go to West Ham on Sunday before Leicester’s trip to Newcastle on Monday and victory for both would lift them above Everton.

As it is, they sit two points above the Premier League’s bottom three ahead of the visit of Bournemouth next Sunday.

Dyche had told his players to ignore the noise but they struggled for long spells and again lost Dominic Calvert-Lewin to injury.

It will spawn a nervous Goodison Park, which saw its last relegation from the top flight in 1951.

Wolves’ own season of struggle – they were bottom at Christmas – will ultimately end in mid-table comfort, mainly thanks to what stands as seven home wins from 10 games since the turn of the year.

Julen Lopetegui had stressed the importance of the Premier League’s integrity, insisting his team would not roll over with matters at the bottom to be settled.

It was, though, understandable that Everton made the better start as Calvert-Lewin brushed the side-netting before nodding Alex Iwobi’s cross over.

The Toffees needed that urgency and, against a Wolves side containing six changes, they were the aggressors, although they lost Nathan Patterson to injury after 29 minutes.

Mina headed over after Daniel Bentley missed a corner and Everton were on top only to be caught on the break for the opener after 34 minutes.

The visitors were pressing on the edge of Wolves’ box but Abdoulaye Doucoure’s loose pass fell to Adama Traore who turned on the afterburners.

The forward launched into an unstoppable 70-yard dash, brushing off Amadou Onana, and when his shot was saved by Jordan Pickford, Hwang stroked in the rebound.

It was harsh on Everton but it got worse in first-half stoppage time when Calvert-Lewin, who came off in last week’s defeat to Manchester City with a groin problem, limped off.

Demarai Gray replaced him but there was no focal point and any second-half response was limited. Gray highlighted their lack of presence up front when his wicked cross through the six-yard box was missed by everyone.

Wolves had slowly gained control and Pablo Sarabia curled wide before Daniel Podence volleyed off target.

A wayward Iwobi strike was all Everton could muster until Bentley pushed Gray’s drive behind with 21 minutes left but, as time began to run out, there were few signs of a recovery.

Iwobi’s shot deflected wide and the Toffees needed Pickford to deny Matheus Nunes late on.

But they snatched an unlikely point in the ninth minute of stoppage time when Mina bundled in from close range following Michael Keane’s knockback.

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui admitted that a lot has changed since the last time his side played against Everton.

They host the relegation-threatened Toffees at Molineux, with Sean Dyche’s team lingering above the drop zone in 17th.

Saturday’s clash is the reverse fixture of Lopetegui’s first game in charge of Wolves where they edged to victory on Boxing Day after substitute Rayan Ait-Nouri scored in stoppage time.

The goal handed Wolves a vital win to lift them off the foot of the table and Lopetegui believes a lot has changed since then.

“It seems a lot of years ago now, but it was only months,” he told a pre-match press conference.

“It was my first match in the Premier League and it was important. Being honest, we didn’t deserve to win this match, but in the end, we got what was important for us, which was to believe more.

“It was very difficult moment (at the start of his tenure) and we achieved three important points at that moment. It was a tough match and it’s going to be the same this Saturday, for sure.

“It was difficult to imagine we would be in the situation we are in now when we last played Everton, but it was our aim.

“We tried to achieve points and change things, knowing the difficulty and the quality of the level of the Premier League.

“Fortunately, we manged to achieve our aim and we are happy for this.

“But when you go and accept one new challenge, you are not thinking about the end of the challenge, you are only thinking of the next step, the next match and that’s the only way to build a new reality, and that’s what we tried to do.”

Wolves are currently 13th in the table with two games to go, starting with Everton before finishing the season at the Emirates against Arsenal.

They secured Premier League safety earlier in the month and Lopetegui knew the team would be safe when faced with their responses after defeats.

“Maybe after each defeat and with the answer of the players in the next day after a defeat. For me, they were very key moments and very important moments,” he added.

“To see them to come here into work [after a defeat] with big commitment and with a big belief, that was important. How we would manage and drive out of those bad moments were key for our achievement.”

Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui has challenged his team to finish well in front of a home crowd at Molineux against Everton on Saturday.

Lopetegui has steered the club to Premier League safety with three games to spare after they won four home games in a row without conceding.

And the Wolves boss has called on his side to keep their run going in their final home game of the season.

Lopetegui told a pre-match press conference: “In this part of the season, fortunately we achieved our first aim, our most important aim and a very difficult aim, that is to be out of the relegation battle three matches from the end of the season.

“Of course, we want more, and we have to take the game on Saturday looking at the challenge and a chance for us to finish the season well in front of our fans.

“We want to be able to compete until the rest of the season for the respect of the league and for the rest of the teams. If we were still fighting to get out of the relegation, we would want the same from other teams, so it’s the same demand for ourselves.”

Although Wolves are out of the relegation battle, Saturday’s visitors Everton are still firmly in the mix, sat 17th in the table.

The Toffees gave their chances of survival a boost with a dominant 5-1 victory against Brighton before losing 3-0 to Manchester City at the weekend.

And Lopetegui will not allow Wolves to take things easy this weekend.

He said: “We have worked with good commitment this week, thinking of course Saturday is the last match in front of our fans so of course it’s important for us.

“In the same way we know we have one very good opponent with very good players, a good coach.

“They have had one very clear way in the last two or three months and they showed they have very good players and are a very good team.

“They are fighting, of course, to survive in the Premier League, they have shown the level in the last match against Brighton.

“So we know the kind of match we’re going to have to compete with them because, of course, we are professional, we are fighting and we know that other teams are fighting for different aims in the Premier League and we have to do our best.”

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is set to rejoin training on Friday ahead of the crucial trip to Wolves this weekend.

The England international was replaced at half-time of last weekend’s defeat by Manchester City due to a groin problem, and having been given a reduced workload this week, manager Sean Dyche is ready to bring him back into the squad.

“He’s had a few down days and it is looking more promising so he will be with us again tomorrow,” he said.

“He has come through the last couple of days well.”

Defender Vitalii Mykolenko’s continued absence, he missed the City game with a thigh problem, means Everton are without any first-choice full-backs as Seamus Coleman’s season was ended by a knee injury earlier this month.

Dyche admits it would be a risk to play the Ukraine international this weekend.

“I doubt he will be right for this one. He has got a chance for the next one,” he said.

“It’s a risk-and-reward scenario but he hasn’t trained so I doubt he’ll be ready for this one.

“Myko is close but it is whether we take a gamble on that with only one to go (after this weekend).”

Christian Eriksen was pleased by the way Manchester United dealt with the “extra pressure” and bounced back from the back-to-back defeats that jeopardised their top-four ambitions.

This has been a promising first season under Erik ten Hag, who has won the Carabao Cup and taken the Red Devils to June’s FA Cup final against Manchester City.

United have also improved markedly on last year’s Premier League performances and have long looked set to secure a return to Champions League football.

Back-to-back defeats at Brighton and West Ham allowed Liverpool to close the gap, but Ten Hag’s men got back to winning ways by triumphing 2-0 against Wolves on Saturday afternoon.

“Of course, when you lose two games the extra pressure is on,” midfielder Eriksen said.

“But we have shown the character and the quality to be where we are.

“We’re just going to focus on us. For us, it has to be three wins in the last three games.”

United travel to Bournemouth next weekend, before finishing the league campaign with home matches against Chelsea and Fulham.

Ten Hag’s men have won 25 matches at Old Trafford in all competitions and could match the club record 27 home triumphs in a single campaign.

“It’s definitely something that we need to first of all finish the season strong with a perfect home record,” Eriksen told MUTV.

“But, in the end, of course, for next season we need to be as good at home, but also away and then it’s going to be a fun season.

“We know where we can pick up extra points because at home at the moment we’re feeling very, very secure.”

United never looked in danger against Wolves, with Anthony Martial finally opening the scoring from a smart Antony pass.

It looked to be the winning goal until Alejandro Garnacho struck in stoppage time as the substitute returned from a two-month injury lay-off with a bang.

“It’s very good (to have him back),” Eriksen said of the teenager.

“You can see the quality he will bring back and the confidence of how he’s playing.

“I’m pleased for him. To be out for a while and then come back and score, it’s the perfect return.”

Wolves failed to muster a shot on target at Old Trafford and are now looking to end the season on a high as Julen Lopetegui’s men round things off at home to Everton and at Arsenal.

Skipper Ruben Neves said: “We’re going game by game. We want to have as many points as we can in the Premier League. That’s our main goal.

“We’re playing at Old Trafford which is big motivation.

“It doesn’t matter the table, it doesn’t matter the points and just playing here is fantastic for us as players, it’s a dream to play in these kinds of pitches, so we just want to get as many points as we can until the end of the season.

“We have two games to go and next week is our last game at home so we will do everything to get the three points with the atmosphere being fantastic at home.

“Our fans in here today were fantastic again, so we will try to get as many points as we can for them as well.”

Julen Lopetegui insists Wolves need to spend to avoid another relegation dogfight.

The former Real Madrid manager has guided Wolves to safety with three games left, despite being bottom of the table at Christmas.

He is due to meet chairman Jeff Shi before the end of the season to thrash out the club’s plans for the summer and beyond now their Premier League status is assured.

Those talks will include discussions over his transfer kitty at Molineux after a season of struggle.

“We have to be together in the same way, we want to improve. In football you have to want to increase your performance and squad. This is about investment too,” said Lopetegui ahead of Saturday’s trip to Manchester United.

“I am going to have a long meeting with our chairman to hear him and hear what his ideas are for next year. This is going to be key for me.

“That’s why I have to hear him and know first hand what his ideas are. After I will have more information to take a decision.

“We have to improve and have to take advantage of the summer. If not we know the level of the Premier League; the first step is to hear him.

“Afterwards we will take our decision about a lot of players. In the right moment I’m going to talk, first with the club and afterwards with the players about what is going to be our idea.

“We want to improve, we need to improve. We have had a very hard year. We have to be ready to improve and be able to compete better in the next year.

“We have to be ready. This year has been a very hard year for all, maybe it can serve as a lesson for all of us.”

Lopetegui has no new injury worries for the trip to Old Trafford with Wolves 13th and 10 points clear of the drop zone.

“United are a very good team, with top players, a good coach with a very clear idea in the way they want to play,” he added.

“They are fighting to be in a good position to be in next season’s Champions League. This is a very difficult achievement.”

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