Sports

Wenger hails 'convincing win' as Arsenal keep top-four hopes alive

Wenger hails 'convincing win' as Arsenal keep top-four hopes alive

Alexis Sanchez's superb solo strike was typical of the Arsenal star, Arsene Wenger beamed, after the Gunners won 2-0 at Southampton on Wednesday.

"That's Alexis, you know". That was until Mesut Ozil found Alexis Sanchez who scored a superb goal to break the deadlock. "He's always tricky to stop, very good in short space and in the box he is unsafe".

"The whole team was dynamic, focused and showed a convincing desire to win the game", Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the BBC. "He's a slow starter but gets stronger and stronger".

Sofiane Boufal took his cue from Sanchez as he twisted between yellow shirts, only to fire well over the bar, but Giroud - sent on with 10 minutes left - made a swift impact to settle nerves, heading Ramsey's nodded assist beyond Forster to keep hopes of a familiar season finish alive. Wenger had dropped Giroud in favour of Danny Welbeck for the last two games, but praised the French striker for his ability to have an impact.

But while Wenger can not wait to say "told you so" to his critics Gunners defender Shkodran Mustafi is still concerned his team may have left it a little too late.

"I'm always harsh with the one that doesn't play".

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Arsenal now have 66 points, one point more than Manchester United who are now sixth on the table.

"He went through a hard period when he came back from his ankle injury, but I never questioned his attitude". We knew that coming here is not easy to play, it's a good team, a team that like to play. It's a good opportunity to show your character, how you come back and how you recover.

Though, there is an exact set of results that need to take place if this is to go forward. "So let's just continue".

A home win over Jose Mourinho's depleted Manchester United on Sunday meant Arsenal could cut the gap to fourth-placed Manchester City to three points with victory at St Mary's Stadium, but they never looked likely in a second-rate first half.

Wenger confirmed former Southampton man Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was forced off in the first half with a hamstring problem - but is hoping it was mainly fatigue for the England worldwide.

"He's got a small chance, he was not far [away from returning], practiced [on Tuesday] but was risky to play him [at Southampton]", Wenger said. Just not enough. All the games the same thing... we saw our games since the beginning of the season, many games where we've had the same feeling.


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