Arsenal are up for a top-four charge, Wenger claims


Stoke have only lost one of their eight home Premier League games against Arsenal (W4 D3).

Arsenal now take on already-relegated Sunderland on Tuesday.

The goal came after resilient West Brom players mounted an organise defence, but pressure from the visitors game them victory and crowned champions.

However, after beating Manchester United, Southampton and now Stoke in the last three matches, the 67-year-old showed few signs of backing down in the face of strident criticism.

Liverpool have faltered and if the Merseysiders slip up at West Ham on Sunday, the door will open for Wenger to sneak into the top four once again.

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Saints had an opportunity to make the breakthrough when Arsenal's back three contrived to play both Dusan Tadic and Manolo Gabbiadini onside, but the latter's effort was repelled by visiting goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Inconsistency has been the only consistent trait linking the also-rans in the title race who are now scrambling around for a place in the Champions League.

It didn't take long before the Gunners restored their two-goal cushion, though, with Sanchez turning from provider to scorer after the defenders backed off to allow the Chilean to run at goal and force a shot past the keeper and into the bottom corner.

Arsene Wenger: Traditionally there is a fierce rivalry and they had always a very direct game against us.

After Olivier Giroud's 42nd-minute opener, the pair combined for a sensational second - Sanchez's pinpoint pass finding Ozil in the box and the German obliged with a lovely dink beyond Jack Butland.

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Their victory here was enough to move them four points clear of fifth-placed United, and Klopp enthused over Can's timely victor . Liverpool lost their Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho early in the first half, altering their first half game plan.

Gabriel Paulista is the defensive security Wenger has on the bench and he also the attacking powers of Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi to call upon if necessary in his matchday squad. Sanchez then got one of his own before Giroud grabbed his second of the game.

Mark Hughes: "I'd like to think people for the most part have acknowledged how hard it is for Stoke City to keep on competing at the level we are". Is there too many defensive players in the starting line-up?

This win, achieved courtesy of first-half goals by Fernando Llorente and Kyle Naughton, lifted Swansea four points above the relegation zone. "We know we can only win our let's just continue".

As the cliche goes, every game is like a cup final for the Gunners between now and May 27 - when they really do have a literal final with Chelsea at Wembley Stadium - as any sort of setback will end their hopes of a 21st top-four finish in succession.

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