Arsenal could not afford to lose to Tottenham, admits Wenger

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The best chance of Champions League next season for Arsene Wenger's side is now via the Europa League - but the Arsenal boss insists he wants to do it via the Premier League.

Wenger said he would not rotate his players against Ostersund, with the Gunners having next weekend off after being eliminated from the FA Cup. 'Football is not about switching off for three games and switching it on for one game. Man United decided that once they were in the semi-final, and we are far from a semi-final.

"It's a game we couldn't afford to lose, of course", manager Wenger said. Wenger admitted that their clash with Spurs was indeed a must-win encounter and thanks to the disappointing result Gunners are left with a mountain to climb in the Premier League.

"Then comes the Champions League, a competition that excites our fans and us. I think that's what Harry is at Tottenham and I think that connection will only get stronger". "We missed opportunities on the counter attack because of a poor final ball".

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"Arsenal is our sworn enemy and I know what it means, the derby, but we don't care if Arsenal are behind us, or where they are".

Tottenham and Arsenal go head-to-head at Wembley this lunchtime with both north London rivals looking to give their top four hopes a major boost.

Kane's towering second-half header was the difference between the two sides but in truth Spurs were in complete command and should really have won by more - one of the main reasons for that dominance being the magnificence of Belgium star Mousa Dembele.

It took until the 27th minute for the game's first real chance to be created, but Kane could not keep his header down.

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"Again, they were just a little bit too fragile at the back".

About the goal scorer, Dier said: "Harry Kane loves scoring against Arsenal".

A low-key first half had featured nearly nothing in the way of goalmouth incident, with Arsenal wasting several promising breaks with poor final passes.

Kane has now scored seven goals in his last seven matches against the Gunners, a club who released him as a youngster prior to him joining Spurs.

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"That's been the issue, Arsenal haven't been able to control the central midfield in away games".

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