Arsenal 4 Wigan 1: Arsene Wenger wants third-place finish
Arsenal 4 Wigan 1: Arsene Wenger says a third-place finish is within reach after his side move back into fourth in the table
Arsene Wenger is confident Arsenal have what it takes to win at Newcastle on Sunday and secure Champions League qualification after watching his side down Wigan and move back into fourth place.
Tuesday’s win, which sealed Wigan’s relegation to the Championship, lifted the north Londoners back above Tottenham ahead of the final round of fixtures this weekend.
And Wenger believes the Gunners could still finish third, with his side currently two points behind Chelsea, who host Everton on Sunday.
“I am confident [ahead of Newcastle] because we have experience, we play for a long time under massive pressure and we have always found the solutions with the problems that we have faced,” said Wenger.
“It is all open, but it depends on our result. Even third place is not out of sight of we win the game.”
The Gunners took an early lead against the Latics when Lukas Podolski glanced his header home from Santi Cazorla’s corner, but Shaun Maloney’s free-kick levelled the score just before half-time.
Theo Walcott then bundled home Cazorla’s low cross on the hour-mark to put the home side ahead again.
Podolski added a third with a neat chipped finish shortly after and Aaron Ramsey sealed the three points when he drilled his shot into the roof of the net from close range.
Wenger felt Walcott’s goal was the pivotal moment of the game as it knocked the wind out of Wigan’s sails.
“When we scored the second one it was a massive blow for Wigan and they never recovered from that,” he said. “It then became a comfortable win with goals three and four.
“We had a quick and strong start for the first 20 minutes. We were really dominating and after that we became a bit conservative and pushed forward less and allowed Wigan back in the game.
“We became a bit edgy and nervous at the start of the second half. But in these types of games you need to keep your nerve and continue to play like there is nothing at stake basically. It took us some time to recover from the [Wigan] goal.”