Arsene Wenger Admits 'It Will Be Very Difficult' to Secure a Top Four Spot After Defeat to Baggies

Joanna Durkan

Following Arsenal's defeat at the Hawthorns on Saturday, Arsene Wenger admitted that it will be difficult for his side to finish in the top four after falling five points behind Liverpool, according to the ​official club website.

A brace from Craig Dawson and a strike from Hal Robson-Kanu resulted in the Gunners' third consecutive away league loss, despite Alexis Sanchez's strike which levelled the sides going into the break.

West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal - Premier League
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal - Premier League

​ Speaking in his  post-match press conference, Wenger reflected on his side's performance: " It was a difficult game, because it a was a typical Premier League game that you see a lot - with a team that has a lot of the ball and a team that defends deep and well, waiting for the counter-attack and set-pieces.  West Brom did very well on that.  

"We had 77 per cent of possession but we didn’t create enough chances. I think that’s firstly down to the quality of their defending and their hard work physically."

After conceding goals from two set-pieces in identical fashion after loose defending provided Dawson with a clear run at goal, Wenger added: " Our record on defending set-pieces is quite good since the start of the season, but I must say their delivery is absolutely great and we were a bit naive on their movement.

"I think on the first goal they blocked the keeper as well, and the third. It’s not easy for the keeper to intervene in that kind of situation."

Asked about the Gunners' chances on getting into the top four, Wenger admitted: " It will be a big fight, I agree with you. It will be very difficult now. Anyway, there’s no other way than by fighting and doing it until the last game of the season. 

"Then, if it’s not good enough, we have to take the consequences. And then maybe one day if we don’t do it, people will enjoy it again to be in there."

The Frenchman also denied the attitude of the players was to blame for the loss :  "I think you don’t see any obvious signs of lack of attitude. That’s what people always criticise when you lose a game.

"I think we took the responsibility to take the game to them, and it didn’t work today. We are certainly a bit short of confidence as well, but I don’t think it’s an attitude problem."

Arsenal will now have time to regroup over the international break before they face Manchester City at the Emirates at the start of April. 

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