We have regrets - Wenger

by

April 22, 2016
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (left) celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the English Premier League match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates Stadium in London, yesterday. Arsenal won 2-0.

LONDON (AP):

Alexis Sanchez's double eased Arsenal back into third place with a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion yesterday, smoothing the north London team's pursuit of Champions League qualification after consecutive draws.

Arsenal moved two points ahead of Manchester City, which were held by Newcastle on Tuesday, and four ahead of fifth-place Manchester United.

Securing a place in the top four of the English Premier League is the remaining target for manager Arsene Wenger, with Arsenal 10 points behind leaders Leicester and only 12 points to play for.

"We are under permanent pressure," Wenger said. "There are top teams who are behind us. Because Leicester is front everyone thinks we should have done it (won the title). But you can say that for any other team because Leicester was bottom of the table last year."

Arsenal fans with loftier ambitions are not satisfied with the 12-year title drought, and there was the unusual sight of thousands of empty seats for a rare Thursday night game at Emirates Stadium.

Sanchez received a pass from Aaron Ramsey in the sixth minute and spun past Sandro before picking a spot in the bottom corner of the net.

"It helped us to focus more on the way we played and not be anxious," Wenger said. "(Sanchez) is back sharper, more confident."

And he curled in his 15th goal of the season directly from a free kick in the 38th past Ben Foster after his team-mates in the defensive wall split for him.

With Arsenal enjoying more than 70 percent of possession, this was the type of game in which Arsenal should have secured a commanding scoreline. On other days, such as Sunday when Arsenal were held by Crystal Palace to 1-1, the team is made to pay for such wastefulness in front of goal.

It is Leicester's astonishing rise this season that has added to murmurs of discontent at Arsenal, although there were no open signs of revolt for the visit of 15th-place West Brom.

Three months ago, the Gunners were ahead of Leicester at the top of the standings on goal difference and now they are 10 points adrift.

"Of course we have regrets," Wenger said.

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