Arsene Wenger on why Arsenal failed to catch Chelsea this season

The Chilean global was instrumental in Arsenal's 4-1 win away at Stoke City on Saturday, but had to be replaced after receiving a kick to his thigh.

If I were Chelsea, they don't have to qualify for the Champions League, so it's our fault or it could be better, not because of the opponents.

The north Londoners must win their remaining two matches and hope either City or Liverpool slip up in order to maintain Wenger's 20-year record of finishing in the top four.

Arsenal were heading for a damaging draw against Sunderland when Sanchez scored twice in the final 15 minutes to get a crucial three points, just about keeping alive their push for fourth place.

Arsenal must now rely on either Middlesbrough or West Ham to thwart Liverpool and Manchester City respectively to have any hope of qualifying for the Champions League, but the Frenchman does not believe his side need a minor miracle.

"I think especially at Everton, we were really unlucky because some decisions were really bad on the night". The Gunners have been formidable on home soil, boasting four wins and a draw from their last five games at the Emirates Stadium, and should make light work of a struggling Sunderland side as a result.

Asked if the turning point were the defeats to Manchester City and Everton, Wenger replied: 'Yes, I would say yes. I'm very positive because it looks like we've got stronger in every single game.

Wenger's comments come as Arsenal could finish the campaign with more points than last season - when they were second - and still miss out on a Champions League spot.

"At the end of the day, if we make 75 points we can only be beaten by one point".

Sanchez picked up an injury on Saturday and Wenger was pessimistic about his chances of playing this evening. We now have 72 and want to go to 75. "We go to Watford to win the game".

In the second-half, Arsenal upped the tempo, although Nacho Monreal nearly scored a weird own-goal, an incident which would lead to an equally odd indirect free-kick for Sunderland deep inside the Gunners' box.

  • Julie Sanders