Published: Wed, April 19, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

What Arsenal must do to finish in top four - Wenger

What Arsenal must do to finish in top four - Wenger

Alexis Sanchez curled in a flawless free kick to give the Gunners the lead in the first half, then helped set up Ozil for the victor.

Arsenal secured their first away win in five Premier League matches when Sanchez floated a ball into the box which Aaron Ramsey cleverly chested down to Ozil who made no mistake from close range.

Wenger said: "It was positive". Sanchez and Ozil were the bright sparks in a game that saw Arsenal struggle to find rhythm and were constantly threatened at the back by Middlesbrough's direct game. "Sometimes the situation can turn the other way around".

They reached Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium with plenty of time to spare, yet there was still a lack of direction on the pitch as they searched for a route to goal in the opening stages.

"We have to win every game to have a chance to get in the top four", said Wenger, who has yet to finish outside the top four in his 21-year reign.

"I felt there was nervousness there in the way we played here. You could see we did not play with full confidence, but overall we really wanted to win", the Arsenal manager told Sky Sports.

Wenger admitted he feared the worst when Middlesbrough grabbed their equaliser.

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"It was tough for us because they are fighting hard to stay in the division and we might have ridden our luck on one or two occasions but I thought we were defensively stronger than previous games".

Asked if the ploy had worked, Wenger said: "Yes, it is the first time in 20 years. I think we were so low on confidence we needed reassurance on that front".

"It's a massive honour to play for Arsenal and you have to give it 100 per cent, week in week out".

"Despite sometimes hard situations, or some situations that lack clarity, we still can perform".

Sanchez went to a supporter and gave a youngster his shirt plus then lifted up Alex Oxlade Chamberlain. Pep Guardiola's side have won four of their last six games away from home. "You have to give it 100 per cent week in, week out and maybe that had been slipping in the last few weeks".

The Gunners hold the record for the most FA Cup wins, with 12.

"It was not ideal". We faced a direct game and we have been punished a bit on that.

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