Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Wenger pins hopes on last-day Arsenal coup

Rita Gibson | 19 May, 2017, 05:51

The introduction of Iwobi proved to be a right one as Arsenal finally found a way past the resolute Black Cats in the 72nd and 81st minute as Alexis Sanchez hit a brace that gives the Londoners some glimmer of hope that they can still make the top four. Arsene Wenger will be relying on Liverpool or Manchester City slipping up on Sunday to qualify Arsenal for the Champions League for a 20th successive season.

City are in third spot with 75 points, Liverpool have 73 and Arsenal 72.

Thousands of empty seats greeted the players as the game got under way, many staying away as part of a boycott organised in protest against Wenger signing a new deal and remaining in charge beyond the FA Cup final meeting with Chelsea.

Wenger - who's future remains uncertain - has received his fair share of criticism following their underwhelming results, but the Frenchman feels their potential failure to clinch a top-four finish is very much down their rivals' improvements rather than their own struggles. "We didn't play well on Saturday, we know that but I think you can see Sunderland had a go, tried to score at times but we were outclassed by a better football team". "If you have only a one per cent chance you still have to give everything".

At the conclusion of a season that only served to underline how far Arsenal have declined in recent years, Wenger knows missing out on the top four would be the last straw for a large section of his club's disenchanted support. "I just think: 'Let's make sure we win against Everton.' Even if you have only a 1% chance, you would have to play totally at 100% but I think we have a good chance".

"We won 71 points last season and finished second".

Herrera ends De Gea dominance to win United Player of the Year
Herrera, 27, edged Antonio Valencia and top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the prize after appearing in 31 Premier League games and providing six assists from midfield.

"I answer for 20 years the question, is top four nothing special".

"I'm surprised all of a sudden it becomes a big deal".

Wenger claimed not to have noticed the massive number of empty seats inside the stadium or to care about them.

Alexis Sanchez kept alive Arsenal's fading hopes of qualifying for the Champions League as the Chilean broke Sunderland's stubborn resistance to seal a crucial 2-0 win on Tuesday. We do our job, we have shown that again. "Once he is on the pitch and has the ball, he becomes the devil and forgets his pain". He has not wasted his time. "Hopefully that will last for a long time".

The Sunderland manager, David Moyes, took issue with Wenger's pre-match comments about how teams with nothing left to play for were sometimes "on holiday".

"That's an insult to footballers". No, I don't think it does. "For me it's more about what's going to happen with the football club".

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