Arsenal beats Southampton 2-0, climbs into 5th in EPL

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ARSENAL'S hopes of securing a top-four finish are alive and kicking after second-half goals from Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud earned a 2-0 victory at Southampton last night (Wednesday).

Chile global Sanchez, 28, has now scored 20 goals in a league season for the first time in a career that has also featured spells with Udinese and Barcelona.

Wenger also hailed the character of his side after they continued their resurgence following a awful run of form which saw them go from title contenders to sixth in the table - pointing to the FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City as the turning point. He's very good in short space, and in the box.

The goal came after a tiresome first half where Southampton had the better chances to score first, but Arsenal controlled the game after going ahead.

And after the winning performance, Wenger insisted that he had never doubted the character of his players, many of whom have been vociferously criticised by both the press and even the club's own supporters.

Under-fire Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has constantly reiterated his side can not put a foot wrong in their remaining games, and they were solid enough to take home victory from the south coast to keep them in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

"We were dynamic, quick going forward, well organised". It's a good opportunity to show your character, how you come back and how you recover. Now we have three games and we have to give everything like we did today and hopefully, we'll achieve our goals.

"He scores important goals". Let's not go too quickly to conclusions, and focus and give everything at Stoke on Saturday.

He said: "It's a hamstring problem but we don't know how bad it is".

Petr Cech made two crucial saves to ensure Arsenal went into the first half break on level terms with the Saints.

Wenger's compatriot and former player bemoaned the bluntness of his attacking players, with Manolo Gabbiadini guilty of wasting their best chance at 0-0.

"It's often the same result against the big six, we can not find the good win against one of these teams", he said. Just not enough. All the games the same thing... we saw our games since the beginning of the season, many games where we've had the same feeling.

"Every time we play good football with quality, with opportunities, with chances but without the clinical edge and this is very harsh for the players".