Van Persie rediscovers touch as Gunners tighten grip on Champions League place



ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger is refusing to take third place in the Premier League for granted, after a comfortable win at 10-man basement club Wolves increased their cushion to five points.

Early goals from Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott followed by Yossi Benayoun’s late strike swept the Gunners away from their rivals and nudged the West Midlanders closer to the drop.

But having recovered from two awful runs and seen neighbours Tottenham’s seemingly iron grip on automatic Champions League qualification slip, Wenger is in no mood to celebrate prematurely.

“I’m very happy we are in this position but I’m also very cautious because some teams have been in that position before,” he said. “We have come from very deep and to stay in this position we have to focus on our next game.”

Van Persie came into the match without a goal in four fixtures but took just nine minutes to remedy that, chipping an impudent penalty for his 34th of the season.

Walcott had won the spot-kick, with Sebastien Bassong sent off, and the winger hammered the next nail into the Wolves coffin just two minutes later, slotting in after a one-two with Van Persie.

Kevin Doyle tested visiting goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny’s agility before Benayoun wrapped up an eighth win in nine, cutting in from the right and drilling low past Wayne Hennessy.