Third place no longer certain for worried Wenger

ARSENAL (1) vs ASTON VILLA (2)

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger admits it would be a huge blow were his side to surrender third place in the Premier League to Manchester City and automatic entry into next season’s Champions League.

Robin van Persie’s last minute effort, his 21st goal of the season, was all Arsenal could muster in response to Darren Bent’s first-half brace, and should the FA Cup winners win at Stoke tomorrow they would move one point ahead of Arsenal with a game to play.

Wenger said: “It will be a big set-back but we will adapt our preparation in pre-season to it. We dropped three points today which could cost us the automatic qualification for the Champions League.

“We have been hit very hard by bad results and you could see that at the start of the game, we suffered a little bit. We were punished because we went into the game too tentative. We were not dominant enough in anything we did.”