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Wednesday 23 August 2017

Wenger: We must go on the attack if we want to stay in top four

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Manager Arsene Wenger remains convinced attack will prove the best form of defence as Arsenal look to stay in the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

The Gunners recorded a seventh win in the last eight league matches when beating relegation-battlers QPR 2-1 at Loftus Road on Wednesday night with goals from Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez.

Arsenal sit a point ahead of Manchester United, their FA Cup quarter-final opponents, and four behind second-place Manchester City.

Giroud's second-half opener came following a swift counter-attack after Arsenal had soaked up plenty of pressure.

Wenger, though, expects to see his team always stay on the front foot.

"I wanted the team to continue to attack, because we are not a team that can sit off and wait for the teams who commit and get them only on the break. We need to master possession and we did that well," Wenger told Arsenal Player.

Giroud has rediscovered his scoring touch in the last two matches following a series of misses in the 3-1 Champions League defeat to Monaco.

Wenger hailed the mental strength of the France forward, who now has 10 Premier League goals from a campaign which was hampered by four months sidelined with a broken leg.

Full-back Kieran Gibbs believes Giroud does not get the credit his work-rate for the team deserves.

"Olivier has certainly responded in the way we wanted. He is that kind of character who always wants to bounce back and do well for the team. He puts a lot of pressure on himself. Credit to him, because he is having a fantastic season," Gibbs said, quoted by the London Evening Standard.

Sanchez remains Arsenal's most potent attacking threat, taking his tally to 19 following a seven-match barren spell.

"Every player goes through a difficult patch but he is not the type to let it get to him. He has shown great determination in every game," said Gibbs.

"We need that from him and that is why he is world class."

Gibbs believes Arsenal have overcome the setback of their defeat by Monaco, which leaves hopes of qualification for the quarter-finals of the Champions League all but over ahead of the second leg in Monte Carlo later this month.

He said: "We wanted to respond for the fans and the people at the club. We know we are a good team and we want to show that."

Arsenal defender Gabriel suffered a hamstring injury at QPR and is expected to be out for a couple of weeks.

Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has been laid low by illness but may be in contention to return for the FA Cup holders at United on Monday March 9.

QPR, meanwhile, are in the relegation zone, now three points behind Aston Villa, who beat West Brom on Tuesday night.

Chris Ramsey's side host Tottenham in the Premier League this weekend, then tackle Crystal Palace and Everton.

Striker Bobby Zamora believes if the work-rate continues, then positive results will follow.

"Performances have been good. We have been so close in so many games, but close is not enough really," he said.

"Unfortunately we are not getting the points we deserve.

"We could do with not playing well and getting three points."

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