Wenger sets tough target to rescue Arsenal season

The win - only Arsenal's third in their past nine league games - moves the Gunners up to sixth, seven points behind fourth-place Manchester City and with a game in hand.

Attacker Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain said Arsenal had let their standards to slip, having gone on a four-match losing run from home in the league.

Arsenal travel to Middlesbrough, who are second from bottom, on Monday and will be hoping to get back into the top six by improving their record of one win in their last five league visits to the Riverside Stadium.

"I think it will make the team a bit more serene". We had practiced on it before but we like offensive football so this was a bit more defensive-minded for us.

"Of course", Wenger said when asked if Sanchez and Ozil proved their worth to the team, as quoted on Arsenal's official site. That shows you that even at my age, you can change.

"That was the reason".

Alexis Sanchez curled in a ideal free kick to give the Gunners the lead in the first half, then helped set up Ozil for the victor.

"When you are in a lack of confidence situation it comes back slowly and only the results help", added the Frenchman.

Manager Wenger indicated the new system had given the players fresh belief but said it was not necessarily going to be a model for the future.

"The opponent had more of the ball that we're used to - when we lost against West Brom and Crystal Palace we had 70% possession and today we had a bit less".

"I felt there was nervousness there in the way we played here".

"The gap hasn't been getting any bigger, but now we are getting to the stage where we need to win. You can always find explanations but we are professional people and our job is to perform".

Arsenal now turn their attentions back to FA Cup affairs and their semi-final clash against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.

"I felt that when we scored we had Arsenal on the back foot and at that point we just needed the ball to fall to us".

As for Steve Agnew and Middlesbrough, despite their decent showing, they stay 19th, six points away from safety, with relegation looking very likely.

"It wasn't ideal but I believe it's better to come back together with the triumph".

  • Julie Sanders