Arsene Wenger urges Arsenal to maintain focus in Premier League top-four push
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 13/05/17 8:49pm
Arsene Wenger has urged his Arsenal players to keep their focus in their push to qualify for next season's Champions League.
The Gunners recorded their first Premier League win at Stoke since 2010 on Saturday, moving to within one point of fourth-placed Liverpool.
The 4-1 victory at the bet365 Stadium keeps the pressure on Jurgen Klopp's side, who face West Ham at the London Stadium on Nissan Super Sunday.
Arsenal take on Sunderland on Tuesday before ending the season at home to Everton, while Liverpool host Middlesbrough in their final fixture.
When asked to assess his team's chances of making the top four, Wenger said: "I don't think like that. I think let's do the job and see after what happens.
"We have 69 [points] tonight, let's go to 72 on Tuesday. That means just try to focus absolutely to win the game. Sunderland have nothing to lose.
"We have gone through a difficult period in March but overall the 69 points means you need to win some games during the season.
"At the moment we have consistency and let's finish well. We have a big game again on Tuesday, we play every three days. It's important to recover and keep the same focus."
The Gunners took a two-goal lead at Stoke through Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil before Peter Crouch levelled in controversial fashion.
The Potters striker diverted home via his right arm to briefly give Mark Hughes' side hope of mounting a comeback.
But Alexis Sanchez grabbed Arsenal's third and Giroud netted again to settle the match, leading Wenger to praise his team's resilience.
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"I believe again we had continuity from our recent performances," he added. "Even when we were tested at 2-1 after their dodgy goal, we showed character and we got a deserved win.
"We looked like we were in control. In the second half they made it a bit rough.
"They tried for a while and for us it was important to keep our nerve and to continue to play. We became a bit nervous because we had to survive a few corners.
"Overall we had a good focus and didn't give in."
Sanchez was Arsenal's stand-out performer but he was replaced late on after appearing to suffer a thigh injury.
Wenger confirmed: "Yes, he asked to come off. Alexis is special, you know. Not only because he has special talent but he finds the resources, he is a fighter and he showed that today.
"He has showed again it is not only about talent. It is also about desire and fighting."