Arteta: We must be clinical

Mikel Arteta has warned Arsenal must be "clinical" if they are to secure Champions League qualification once again.

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Mikel Arteta: 'It will be a difficult battle for everyone'

Mikel Arteta: 'It will be a difficult battle for everyone'

Midfielder Mikel Arteta has warned Arsenal must be "clinical" if they are to secure Champions League qualification once again.

The Gunners were held to a 1-1 draw by newly-crowned Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium, where former captain Robin van Persie endured a hot reception on the first return to his old club.

Chelsea moved back up into third place after cruising past Swansea, a point ahead of Arsenal, who are two in front of north London rivals Tottenham, albeit having played a match more.

The race to finish in the top four is set to go to the wire - with Chelsea at Old Trafford next weekend, while the decisive clash looks set to be when Spurs head to Stamford Bridge on May 8.

Arteta has every confidence Arsenal can secure a positive ending to a season of frustration, but maintains there can be no let up as they look to extend an seven-match unbeaten league run when they head to relegated QPR on Saturday.

"It will be about who is the most clinical at the right moments," the Spanish midfielder said.

"When it gets to the last games, the teams who are the most clinical win the games - we have seen that over the last few weeks.

"It will be a difficult battle for everyone."

Areta feels concentration will be the key.

"You want to do well when you go for challenges or make a mistake," he added.

"There is pressure on us like there is for the other teams. Every team in the Premier League is playing for something - relegation or Europe. It will be interesting.

"I believe in our players, but we have to show we can do it. It is easy saying we have a better chance, but it is up to us to do it on the pitch.

"Every game is difficult and anything can happen. We have to play for that."

Arsenal paid tribute to United's achievement of securing a 20th league championship by performing a guard of honour as the visitors walked out onto the pitch yesterday - when Van Persie was greeted with boos.

Those jeers, though, soon turned to wild celebration as Theo Walcott fired the Gunners ahead inside two minutes, if with a hint of offside.

Van Persie, however, had the last laugh as his penalty on the stroke of half-time proved enough to dent Arsenal's Champions League charge, the Dutchman opting not to celebrate after crashing the ball past Wojciech Szczesny.

Arteta believes United's achievements can help spur Arsenal on to themselves mount a long-overdue sustained assault on the title.

He said: "They won the league with four games to go, so deserved the clapping.

"When someone does the job you have to congratulate them. This is the respectful thing to do.

"It would be great [for it to happen to Arsenal]. You want to be on that situation, walk on the pitch and the other team's showing respect because you are the winners.

"Hopefully, along with our young players, we will have the chance to do it."

Wales international Aaron Ramsey again impressed alongside Arteta, with England's Jack Wilshere, just back from an ankle injury lay-off, rested to the bench.

The 22-year-old sees no reason why the Gunners, who were yesterday without 17-goal striker Olivier Giroud at the start of his three-match suspension, cannot go on to secure another shot at elite European football.

"We have carried on our unbeaten run now so hopefully we can continue that, get back to winning ways on the weekend and get in the Champions League at the end of the season," Ramsey said on Arsenal Player.

"Chelsea and Tottenham have to play each other so somebody has to drop points there.

"But we are concentrating on our own game at the moment.

"We believe we can win the remaining three fixtures that we have left and get nine points out of them.

"I am sure if we do that, we'll be in the Champions League next year."


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