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Arsenal managed a 1-0 win over Fulham during the weekend, which propelled them back into the top three of the table. Arsenal were extremely fortunate to not only come out with a victory, but with a clean sheet. Fulham had several chances over the course of the match despite playing with 10 men for much of the 90 min. Midfielder Steve Sidwell was sent off following a straight red card in the 12 min after his tackle on midfielder Mikel Arteta. The red card was extremely debatable because Sidwell did not have two feet off the ground.
Arsenal managed to take the lead in the match through a set piece goal from defender Per Mertesacker. Despite this victory, Arsenal will have reasons to be concerned in the remainder of the season. They played against 10 men for most of the match, but they were able to create any clear-cut opportunities. As in every other match, Arsenal dominated the possession, but they were not able to convert them into chances. Arsenal also had a man sent off late in the match when Oliver Giroud was given a straight red card.
After the match, Wenger said that the referee was right in giving the red card to Steve Sidwell.
“I think the referee could only give a red card [to Sidwell]. We will see [if Arteta is okay]. He played the second-half. I don’t know how much damage is done. It is a kick, a bad kick. I don’t know if he has twisted his ankle or not. In these kind of things it is a question of a fraction of a second. If you are fully on your foot at the moment you get it you break your leg. If you ease a bit off maybe that is why he got away with it,” said Wenger.
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Tottenham and Arsenal will be renewing their rivalry once again during the weekend. This match is also extremely important as it could determine the Champions League future of both the clubs. Arsenal and Tottenham are currently fighting to finish in the top four, with Andre Villas-Boas’ men slightly edging this contest.
Due to the home advantage and good run of form, Tottenham are expected to clinch this encounter. This would enable them to open a significant advantage over Arsenal in the table, but the German international Lukas Podolski thinks that this match alone will not determine the top four positions this season. Continue reading DERBY DAY
Arsenal’s German striker Lukas Podolski has expressed his confidence that the club will be able to overtake their London rivals Chelsea to the third place in the Premier league. Chelsea are currently third in the Premier league after a disappointing season, while their London rivals Arsenal are further behind in the table. Despite their lowly sixth position, Podolski still believes that they can catch Chelsea, who have several points advantage with only a few months of matches remaining in the calendar. Arsenal have to overtake Tottenham and Everton before they can catch Chelsea. The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has always made it a priority to finish in the top four rather than winning major trophy.
After having qualified for the Champions league consecutively for the past 16 seasons, Arsenal are in danger of missing out on the competition. Chelsea and Tottenham are the main rivals for the fourth position. Podolski has submitted that the slow start to the season has cost Arsenal their place in the top four at the moment, but he is confident that they will be able to recover in the remaining few months of the season. Even though he has not set the world alight on fire, Podolski has managed to score eight goals in 23 appearances for Arsenal this season.
“We must fight for the Champions League places and this is our focus. We want third place and we have a lot of matches to play. We are in the FA Cup and the Champions League but the focus must be on the Premier League. We wanted to finish first but we lost a lot of points in the first half of the Premier League and now the difference is too big. The other teams are really strong so we must fight in every game,” said Podolski.