Arsenal keep Champions League hopes alive with Boro win


Although the Frenchman accepted that the display was far from flawless, Wenger was thrilled with the level of commitment from his players, having seen them crumble in a 3-0 loss at Crystal Palace last time out.

Boro pushed for a second equaliser, but Arsenal withstood the late pressure to claim an important result in their pursuit of the Champions League places, alleviating some pressure on Wenger ahead of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final date with Manchester City at Wembley. Pep Guardiola's side have won four of their last six games away from home.

"There are still some chances where maybe we could have played better with some long balls, but the focus and commitment was there".

"We tried everything we could from a tactical point of view. You could see the players have a good mentality, they wanted to win the game and they responded".

That decision saw Rob Holding, Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel Paulista combine in defence and Wenger admitted the formational change gave his side greater stability.

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"Of course, the opponents had a bit more of the ball than we're used to". Against Palace and West Brom, we had 70 per cent of the possession and we lost.

Middlesbrough's target is just staying in the Premier League, but it is looking more perilous after a loss that leaves the northeast team six points from safety with six games remaining. In contrast to many perceptions of them this season, Boro both created chances and looked risky, with centre back Dani Ayala, and wildcard substitute Adama Traore coming closest to adding the crucial second goal.

Boro pushed for an equalising goal and also threw on Benin worldwide Rudy Guestede for the final 10 minutes of the half. "We went with two strikers and we were on the front foot but it just wasn't to be".

"This group don't know how to give in". "As I've just said to them, we'll start to prepare tomorrow and we go to Bournemouth ready". "They will never, ever stop".