Stoke City out to upset Arsenal's Champions League hopes

Stoke City out to upset Arsenal's Champions League hopes

Stoke City out to upset Arsenal's Champions League hopes

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. "Once he has the ball in the box, he's unsafe", Wenger told Sky Sports.

"It was a hard game but we expected that and I believed in the second half we could score the goals that we didn't in the first half because we created more space". "He is always tricky to stop, very good in a short space once he has the ball in the box".

"I felt that, if you look at individual performances, you couldn't be disappointed from the goalkeeper right through to Danny Welbeck".

Arsenal have 66 points, three behind Man City, and both clubs have three matches to play.

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"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.

The only negative for Arsenal about the evening was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming off with a hamstring injury in the first half; Wenger said the midfielder-turned-wing-back will be assessed in the coming days but wouldn't give an estimate for his return.

Both teams started the second half looking to get on the front foot but it took until the hour for Sanchez to open the scoring. "But I believe that, for us, it's important to maintain the focus and intensity in every single game".

[Giroud] has been fantastic for us. "We were quick, dynamic going forward and well organised".

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"We know we can only win our games and we had a strong performance on Sunday (beating Manchester United 2-0) and a strong performance today".

Under-fire Wenger has constantly reiterated his side can not put a foot wrong in their remaining games, and they were solid enough to take home victory from the south coast. "Opportunities, chances, good play, but no clinical edge".

The Chilean worldwide became the first Arsenal player to score 20 EPL goals in one season since Robin van Persië posted 30 goals in 2011-12.

The result means eighth is all-but out the Saints' grasp unless they can better West Brom's results in two of the last three games.

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Wenger sent on Olivier Giroud to find a second goal which would seal the deal and the French striker did just that, heading home Aaron Ramsey's headed pass in the 83rd minute.

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