Arsene keeping his arms folded until the next home goal!
Arsene keeping his arms folded until the next home goal!

Arsenal go into the final match of the Premier League season still requiring a point to secure a top three finish, and automatic entry into next season’s group stage of the Champions League.

The Gunners drew another home goal blank for the third match in a row with a 0-0 draw against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium last night.

Arsenal, who drew 1-1 at Old Trafford last Sunday, had to settle for a point again as Sunderland secured their Premier League survival.

And Arsene Wenger admitted: “We dominated possession, but we’re lacking sharpness at the moment. I think physically it was an intense game on Sunday and we were a bit jaded.

“We played our 56th game of the season and the players have given a lot. Some of them looked a bit as if they’ve not completely recovered from Sunday.

“There was always something missing – we needed something special to score. You have to expect your opposition to play well and you have to be good enough despite that.”

“We haven’t scored in the last three games at home and the fact that we couldn’t score played a big part in our spontaneous attitude when finishing.”

Arsenal can no longer claim the Premier League runners-up spot from Manchester City, but they will finish third barring an unlikely combination of results in this weekend’s final round of games.

The Gunners, who host West Brom, are three points clear of fourth-placed Manchester United and have a superior goal difference (of +7) over the Red Devils, who face relegation-haunted Hull.

“It is important that we win on Sunday, to give our fans a good final game and go into the Cup final,” added Wenger. “We are in a strong position to finish in the top three – let’s do it.”

“Have I got any nerves about finishing third? No. We want to win our game on Sunday, that’s all. We want to prepare to win the game on Sunday. You could see that some players are a bit [tired]. We played our 56th game of the season tonight and some players have given a lot. We still have time to recover for Sunday and prepare well for the FA Cup final. What is important now is that we win on Sunday.” Wenger confirmed that he is considering resting players against the Baggies, “Honestly I don’t know yet. It’s possible.”

Asked whether Arsenal’s play lacked width, Wenger added “We played with three strikers. Two wingers and one centre forward. We had the full backs going forward. Sebastian Coates especially and John O’Shea defended our crosses very well. We didn’t look like scoring, even if we had 28 shots on goal. There was something missing always and you could see that they would throw their body in every time. We needed something special to score tonight because they defended very well.”