Arsenal keep CL hopes alive with Boro win

Anderlecht star Youri Tielemans

"I think we were focussed and committed and you could see that we did not play with full confidence during some moments in the game", Wenger said.

"I couldn't be more proud of the group of players, they gave every ounce of energy over 94 minutes", Agnew told Sky Sports. We faced a direct game and we have been punished a bit on that. Mathematically it is still possible now, even if it is hard, but we will give it a go.

The Gunners began the first half on the back foot but found a way to head into halftime with the lead thanks to a sumptuous free-kick from Alexis Sanchez.

The French manager announced six changes from the team that lost 3-0 at Palace seven days earlier and, even more significantly, employed wing-backs alongside a defensive trio for the first time since 1997.

5 - Wenger played a wildcard by starting with a three-man defence for what must be the first time since his first season in charge and despite the win, it didn't really work.

'I don't know, I just felt that sometimes the team needs to believe in something new, something different, just to find a bit of confidence back, ' said Wenger when asked if he would use the formation again. It worked well in the first half. "As I've just said to them, we'll start to prepare tomorrow and we go to Bournemouth ready". That is what we needed and that's what we wanted.

Arsenal's first sight of goal arrived shortly before the half-hour mark, but Aaron Ramsey and Sanchez both failed to make the most of hard volleyed chances inside the Boro area within a minute of each other. That's why we never gave up.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
AFP Arsene Wenger Arsenal boss will let seven players go this summer

"I feel we're in a position where we want to perform".

"Dani has done everything right, but the ball has got right down the line of Petr Cech".

Result leaves Arsenal seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester City with a game in hand, while Boro lie six points from safety having also played one game fewer than their relegation rivals.

"Obviously we missed an opportunity". Even then, Manchester City could afford to drop four points from its final six games, with a goal difference now superior to Arsenal's.

Agnew said: "The players were unbelievable in terms of their effort and commitment and attitude towards the game".

The home side were given four minutes of added time to come up with a response, but it was Arsenal who looked most like scoring in that time and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came close twice before Olivier Giroud sent an audacious lofted effort just past the post.

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