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Wenger: Third place is Spurs' to lose

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned Tottenham and Chelsea that the Gunners will not be content to finish the season in fourth spot and will give everything in order to secure third place.

• Chelsea back to winning ways

Tottenham's defeat to Everton on Saturday gives Arsenal the opportunity to close the gap on third-placed Spurs to a single point, providing they beat Newcastle on Monday.

Wenger's side finished fourth last season behind champions Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City, and consequently had to come through qualification to secure a place in the Champions League.

While they came through a double-header against Udinese unscathed, Arsenal's league form in the early part of the season was shaky, and the Gunners boss believes Champions League qualification is no longer a formality.

With the quality of European opposition improving every season, Wenger is desperate to finish third this season, although he admits it remains in Tottenham's hands.

"Looking at the quality in Europe, it is going up, for any English team it is difficult. I have felt that for a few years now," Wenger said. "Where [Champions League qualification from fourth place] was just a formality before, now it is not. With Udinese we had two hard games, they are a top team in Serie A.

"This team goes as far as we can and the real challenge for us is the next 11 games. I try to do my best and just know that I am ready to fight.

"At the moment for Tottenham, it [third place] is still in their hands. It will be down to consistency. We have difficult games, they have difficult games and I think we have to make sure first that the fourth spot is there."


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