Feb 03, 2015

    Wenger aims higher after thrashing Villa 5-0


    ARSENE Wenger challenged Arsenal to show the consistency needed to win the Premier League, after Sunday's 5-0 demolition of Aston Villa gave them renewed hope for a belated title challenge.

    Wenger's side were at their imperious best at the Emirates Stadium as they swept to their biggest win of the season, thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Hector Bellerin.

    After a sputtering start to the season, the Gunners are now level on points with fourth-placed Southampton, and their primary target of qualifying for the Champions League is well within reach following three successive league victories.

    With Walcott and Ozil returning to prominence after lengthy injury absences, Wenger harbours ambitions of a more lofty goal following Chelsea's 1-1 draw against second-placed Manchester City on Saturday.

    Arsenal are 11 points behind leaders Chelsea and only six adrift of City, prompting Wenger to hint that a run at the title is not impossible if his players can continue playing with the kind of verve and energy that overwhelmed Villa. "For now, let's try to be consistent and see where we are. It's too early to say what will happen because we are 11 points behind. That means they need to lose four games and we need to win four," he said.

    "Our offensive game was good, we had some weaker periods in the game, but we always looked dangerous when we got through their lines.

    "Defensively, we were sound and it was a positive day for us. That shows as well that maybe we have found a better consistency that will be important until the end.

    "Let's show we can keep it going. It helps the confidence level when everybody is fit."

    The ruthless manner in which Arsenal dispatched Paul Lambert's side could be a significant statement of intent, coming just two weeks after an even more impressive victory at champions City.

    It would not do Arsenal's chances any harm if Germany midfielder Ozil and England winger Walcott continue to progress towards peak form after their injuries. "Ozil still lacks a little competitive edge, but the quality of his game is exceptional. He is getting back now," Wenger said.

    "For Walcott, he needs more sharpness and physical contact, but he is a very intelligent player, and the quality of his movement is good."