Wenger will continue to gamble for top-4 spot

Arsene Wenger said Arsenal know what they must do to qualify for the Champions League.
Arsene Wenger said Arsenal know what they must do to qualify for the Champions League.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Arsene Wenger said Arsenal know what they must do to qualify for the Champions League after watching them beat Leicester City 1-0.

With time slipping away at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, the Arsenal manager threw on Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud to finish with four strikers.

His side prevailed after an own goal by Robert Huth in the 86th minute to move within four points of fourth-placed Manchester City ahead of this morning's (Singapore time) Manchester derby.

Wenger said: "We have to win our games, so that's why we cannot be happy with a 0-0. We absolutely have to take a gamble to try and win the game at any cost."

Given that Arsenal had 72 hours to recover from Sunday's FA Cup semi-final extra-time win over City, he praised their resilience.

"We lacked penetration and a change of pace," the Frenchman said. "But in the end I think the win rewards the team which took the initiative during the game."

He promised Arsenal will approach Sunday's derby at Tottenham Hotspur as another step towards Champions League qualification, not as a chance to halt their rivals' title charge.

"In life, you work for your own achievements," he said.

He played down a touchline incident between his striker Alexis Sanchez and Christian Fuchs. Sanchez twice prevented the Leicester defender from taking a long throw-in. Infuriated, Fuchs threw the ball at Sanchez's shoulder, only for the Chilean to fall to the ground clutching his face.

"(Sanchez) got the yellow card because he didn't respect the rules. I accept that," he said. "But Fuchs was lucky not to get a yellow card because he threw the ball at him on purpose."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2017, with the headline 'Wenger will continue to gamble for top-4 spot'. Print Edition | Subscribe