Wenger warns his Arsenal players not to rely on van Persie

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for his players to dig deep ahead of the final Premier League game of the season if they want to finish third and qualify for the Champions League, the Daily Mail has reported, with Wenger warning that the Gunners cannot keep relying on Robin van Persie to score goals.

Wenger’s plea comes days after the Gunners were held at home by Norwich City, a 3-3 potentially damaging the club’s hopes of a third-place finish. Yet defeat for Newcastle United against Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur’s draw with Aston Villa meant neither of Arsenal’s rivals gained any ground, leaving the identity of the third-place side still up for grabs but crucially, in Arsenal’s own hands.

If Arsenal beat West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns next weekend then the results of Newcastle and Tottenham will matter little. But if Arsenal slip up they could be overtaken by one or both of the sides snapping at their heels. Newcastle travel to Everton on the final day while Spurs are at home to Fulham.

Wenger said: “Again we are punished because Robin had to score and many times we do not get enough goals from elsewhere. We had so many obvious chances that you would want somebody else to score one. That does not happen enough.

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