Wenger reveals defensive blow ahead of Arsenal clash v Sunderland

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Arsenal's "fighting spirit" has returned, manager Arsene Wenger said after his side completed a third Premier League victory in a week to roar back into contention for a top-four finish.

But a run of five victories in six Premier League fixtures has boosted the north Londoners' hopes of making a late dash for Champions League qualification, a feat achieved by Wenger in each of his previous 19 seasons at the club.

Wenger accused those mid-table sides safe from relegation as "being on holiday" and fears West Brom, now eighth and with nothing left to play for this season, will play out a similar role at Manchester City tonight. In the games like that when you go to Stoke you need at some stage to suffer, to stick together and that's what we did.

Wenger's claim that some teams are already "on holiday" was rejected by Pep Guardiola.

"They've done well, congratulations but, in the last two seasons, a team that hasn't played in Europe has won the league".

What's clear is that Arsenal have to beat Sunderland on Wednesday night to take the race for a Champions League spot to the last day of the campaign.

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"We have 69 points today so let's make 72 on Tuesday and after that I will give my best for as long as I'm here for the values of this club and for the club".

"We have two leagues".

Hector Bellerin thought Arsenal showed they have "a lot of heart and character" during Saturday's 4-1 win at Stoke.

"I feel in Spain, Real Madrid can win games by playing some at a lower percentage of the maximum than you can in England".

"We lacked defensive stability in some important games this season, and we had to completely rethink the system. I have nothing else to say".

Wenger, who remains under pressure to leave this summer as supporters continue to protest against him signing a new deal, also has an FA Cup final date with Chelsea on the horizon. "The most hard thing against a team like Stoke is scoring the first goal and after that we had to be efficient. It looks like we've been getting stronger every game".

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