Wenger: Arsenal can still finish second

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Arsene Wenger insists that Arsenal can claim second place in the Premier League this season, despite sitting nine points behind title chasers Manchester City.

The Gunners picked up their first win in three games with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday to move them within one point of 4th placed Tottenham, who can re-establish their four-point gap with victory over West Ham tonight.

Wenger faced fierce criticism last week following Arsenal's exit from the FA Cup against Blackburn which was swiftly followed by the 3-1 Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich which leaves them on the verge of an 8th successive season without a trophy.

Although Wenger wouldn't go as far to say that Arsenal can still catch league leaders Manchester United and end thier trophy drought, the Frenchman insists that with 11 games of the season to go, his side can move clear of the top four scrap and into one of the Champions League automatic qualifaction spots.

"Man City is not out of reach. It could be a tight fight until the end," the Arsenal boss said.

Arsenal still face competition from Everton behind them in 6th place in the race for Champions League qualification, and face a crucial north London derby against Tottenham at White Hart Lane next Sunday.

Tottenham have the chance to move within five points of Manchester City with a win over West Ham this evening, and Wenger believes that the battle for automatic Champions League qualification for the top three is far from settled.

I'm not sure it will only be a fight with Tottenham," he said. "I'm not sure the other places are not reachable.

"Chelsea are just ahead and even Manchester City is not out of reach. It could be a tight fight until the end."

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