Thomas Vermaelen admits Arsenal have made hard work of securing third place in the Barclays Premier League, but remains confident the Gunners can hold off their rivals over the final three games of what has been a testing campaign.

After an appalling start which saw Arsenal lose four from the first seven league games, the Gunners finally found their consistency with nine wins from 10 matches to overhaul Tottenham and Newcastle. However, Arsene Wenger's side were unable to produce a winning response to their shock home defeat by Wigan when held to a frustrating goalless draw by Chelsea.

"We didn't win the last two games, and they were really good chances to put ourselves into third place comfortably. At the moment we still have to fight for third place," said the Belgian centre-back.

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