Mertesacker: Top four is vital

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Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker believes finishing in the top four is 'vital' for the club.

The Gunners earned a morale-boosting victory against Sunderland at the Emirates yesterday (Sunday), with Dutch striker Robin van Persie scoring twice in a 2-1 win over the Black Cats.

Victory moved Arsene Wenger's side into the top ten, and after a disappointing start to the campaign the north London side only sit six points outside the Champions League places.

“It's vital that we reach at least the top four in the league, but at the moment we don't have the points to speak about that,” Mertesacker told the Arsenal programme.

“It's important to perform well to make sure we move up the table. The supporters have to feel we are giving everything to succeed. I am here to play football, to play in the Champions League and I want to be successful in all the challenges we face this season.

“Therefore we have to play hard games twice a week and that's the challenge of being an Arsenal player.”

Post-match, the German international was quick to heap praise on teammate Van Persie, who was the hero for the Gunners once again on a tense afternoon against Steve Bruce's side.


Focus was quickly turned to the Champions League clash against Marseille though, with Arsenal unable to dwell on the result ahead of a crucial clash in Europe.

"We are very happy to have him here with us. He can score every time in the game - right foot or left foot. He is unbelievably important for us in our game. If he scores goals we will be successful," continued Mertesacker.

"We are looking forward to the game, of course. It's an away game which is very tough. I think the team has to recover very quickly. Wednesday is a very important game for the group, so let's see."

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Per Mertesacker
Premier League

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