Arsenal not giving up on top four: Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger

Alexis Sanchez was again influential for Arsenal on Monday as he struck a fine free kick to equalise for Arsene Wenger's side en route to a 2-1 victory at Middlesbrough in the Premier League.

It was far from convincing from Arsene Wenger's men but they move to within seven points of Manchester City in fourth place with a game in hand.

The win should boost Arsenal's confidence somewhat going into this weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City, and kept their hopes alive of climbing back into the Premier League's top four.

"Mathematically it is still possible, even if it is hard, but we have to give it a go".

Wenger surprised many by fielding an experimental back-three, for the first time in his 20-year reign at Arsenal manager.

"Sometimes when your team lacks confidence, just to have something new to believe helps them to focus".

"I felt that it added a bit more stability on the long balls".

The Gunners are now sixth in the table, seven points from fourth-placed Manchester City but with a game in hand.

"We've been in most games and only been pipped by that extra bit of quality that you need to have". But the fact that the team walk away with three points is a step in the right direction.

A tiresome opening was brought to life when Alexis Sanchez's superb free-kick gave Arsenal the lead just before the break. "That was the first thing we needed and the three points were massive".

"It was not flawless but I think it's good to come back with the win".

The change in formation seemed to play it's part in a slow start as the players got to grips with their new roles but we slowly grew in to the game and certainly looked more solid at the back.

"But overall it gave us security from Middlesbrough's direct game".

"I felt there was nervousness there in the way we played here". Pep Guardiola's side have won four of their last six games away from home. Although he has taken only two points from his five games since succeeding Aitor Karanka, Boro's performances have improved considerably and there was a second half period when they threatened to win.

Caretaker Boro boss Steve Agnew said: "This is a missed opportunity for us and we realise the size of the task ahead".

Related News: