Arsenal 3/4 to win against Stoke City in Saturday's Premier League clash

It was a pleasing night for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose side have hit form at the right time, following Sunday's 2-0 victory over top-four rivals Manchester United.

The Frenchman has never finished outside the Premier League's top four in a full season at the helm and is optimistic they can gatecrash the Champions League places this time around, despite a bad run of form which saw Arsenal lose six of 11 league games.

It was Sanchez's cross that Aaron Ramsey headed back across goal for Giroud to nod in the visitors' second goal in the 83rd minute.

"We didn't know when Danny Welbeck would come back and in the end there was a congestion there but that doesn't take anything away from his quality".

"I never questioned the character of my side", he said.

Arsenal moved above Manchester United into fifth on 66 points, three adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City with both having played 35 games.

So Arsenal need to hope that Liverpool slip up, either at West Ham or against Middlesbrough at home on the final day of the season, while beating Stoke Arsenal and Everton in the process. We know we can only win our games. The first half was quite even, but we were focused and determined. There wasn't much urgency from either side in a tedious first-half and it was only after Sanchez's goal on the hour mark that Arsenal began to believe a win was possible.

"Every game we try to give ourselves a chance", Cech told BBC Sport.

Thankfully the injury isn't serious and the French global was able to take part in training on Tuesday so Wenger says the centre-back now has a chance to return to the squad tomorrow.

Wenger will be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after he picked up a hamstring injury against Southampton.

But that's the club Arsenal have become under Arsene Wenger in recent seasons, incapable of maintaining consistency and prone to periods of rank mediocrity. Just not enough. All the games the same thing... we saw our games since the beginning of the season, many games where we've had the same feeling.

"We can not find the good clinical edge", said the beaten Saints manager Claude Puel.

  • Julie Sanders