Arsenal go fifth, hunt Top Four

Wenger gave credit to his players following a first win away to Southampton in 14 years as his decision to give Alexis Sanchez a more central role in a 3-4-2-1 formation paid dividends.

Collecting Mesut Ozil's pass inside the box, Sanchez feigned to shoot with his right but brought the ball back to his left and calmly slotted past Fraser Forster to mark his 100th Premier League appearance with a goal. We created more space and overall I think it was a very convincing win.

"Alexis always grows during the game".

Wednesday's result got Arsenal up to fifth with 66 points from 35 games while Man.

"It was tough in the first half but then we found the opening goal and settled into the game".

The Chilean scored his 20th at St Mary's, his best tally for a season in Europe, while Giroud's header was his sixth as a substitute.

Wenger called on members of his squad to make an impact when called upon.

"That's Alexis", Wenger said.

"I am very pleased because we had a consistent performance from the first to the last minute", said Wenger. It's a good team, a team that likes to play.

"Every time we play good football with quality, with opportunities, with chances but without the clinical edge and this is very harsh for the players".

It's Arsenal's second win in three days, having beat Manchester United by the same scoreline on Sunday.

"As I've always said in the past, I feel comfortable here".

"We have been through a bad patch but we stuck together when we were suffering and I have never questioned the character of my side", he said. It's a good opportunity to show your character, how you come back and how you recover. Let's not go too quickly to conclusions, and focus and give everything at Stoke on Saturday. "We know it depends on the teams above us dropping points, but we need to look at ourselves". Everybody played well, so let's just continue.

Arsenal face games against Stoke City, relegated Sunderland and Everton in their bid to sneak Champions League qualification for the 20th season in succession, and interventions as divine as Sanchez's in this game will be crucial.

  • Julie Sanders