Arsenal v Leicester City preview: Arsene Wenger tells Gunners to draw on Manchester City win and end season in style

Frank Dalleres
Follow Frank
Arsenal v Manchester City - The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final
Arsenal beat Manchester City to reach the FA Cup final on Sunday (Source: Getty)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has challenged his team to conjure a perfect end to the season and believes their FA Cup triumph over Manchester City can serve as a template.

The Gunners achieved the standout result of a difficult second half of the season when they ground out a 2-1 extra-time win over City on Sunday to reach a third FA Cup final in four years.

Wenger believes Arsenal can still gatecrash the Premier League’s top four but, with seven points to make up as they welcome Leicester to Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, he admits it will take a flawless finish.

Read more: Trevor Steven: What it means to lose the dressing room

“The next thing we have to achieve is to transfer the energy level we showed on Sunday to the Premier League,” said Wenger.

“The semi-final win will give us a bit more confidence. I think it will convince everybody that with the right energy levels and the right fighting spirit, the right togetherness, we can beat everybody.

“Big games give you confidence and convince you that you can win. That’s the most important thing in our job.

“The top four is open but what it demands from us is consistency in the results now until the end of the season. It’s still possible, but that means we’ll maybe have to have a perfect run-in.”

Wenger, who again refused to expand on whether he will stay at the club beyond the summer, insisted midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could face Leicester despite leaving Wembley on crutches at the weekend.

No regrets over Vardy's snub

The Frenchman also indicated that Jamie Vardy might have been restricted to a bit part had the England striker accepted Arsenal’s offer instead of signing a new deal with the champions last summer.

“When you come to a big club you cannot guarantee that [being a starter] to anybody,” said Wenger, adding that he had no regrets about missing out on Vardy, who has scored 11 league goals this term.

“Transfers, successful or not successful, are part of it. You accept you are in a job where you have to accept the decisions of the players and he made that decision, that I respect completely. After, you move forward and you look at something else.”

Leicester are 15th in the top flight, six points above the relegation zone, having rediscovered their form under caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare, but have not won in their last four games in all competitions.

Related articles