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Published: 10:12 | 22/4/16

Wenger defiant despite empty seats

Fans protest by staying away

Arsene Wenger has called on Arsenal fans to return to the Emirates Stadium to see some "quality football" after a protest left vast areas of the venue empty for the Gunners win over West Brom on Wednesday night.

Arsenal moved into third place in the Barclays Premier League as two goals from Alexis Sanchez saw them ease to a 2-0 victory over the Baggies, but the game was played out in front of a far from capacity crowd as fans voted with their feet in protest following another disappointing campaign which has seen the Gunners' title challenge ebb away in the latter half of the season.

However, Wenger remained defiant despite there appearing to be far fewer than the official figure of 59,563 in attendance on Thursday night and rumours that up to 2,500 season ticket holders had returned their tickets and called on fans to return to watch some "quality football".

Asked what he thought the fans should do, the Frenchman said: "To come and support the team. If you love football, you go out there and I think you see quality football.

"That's what we try to give to our people. It was a special night as well, Thursday night, and I don't know if you are intelligent enough, nor am I, to detect exactly why everybody that did not turn up tonight did not turn up.

"I believe we dominated from the start to the last minute and in fact, was what we did against Crystal Palace. Overall I believe the quality of our game was very good. Maybe, we could have scored more goals.

"That is the only thing you could say tonight. We didn't concede and couldn't finish the game off the way we wanted."

Wenger also insisted that his team will not be satisfied to finish third and are looking up rather than down at the table.

"We want to finish as high as possible. You never know what happens in front of you," he added.

"There can still be twists and turns but we want to win our games. We came out of West Ham and Crystal Palace thinking we had produced the quality and didn't get the points.

"If you look at our last five games, we won at Everton, we won against Watford, we had two draws and we won today.

"The regret we have is being in the lead against West Ham and being in the lead against Crystal Palace and not getting the points. I don't know where we'll finish but we have to give everything in every game.

"We go to Sunderland (on Sunday), Sunderland fight not to go down. That will be a battle and we have to prepare for that."


By: Kieran O'Daly

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