Arsenal 3 West Ham 1: Arsene Wenger 'satisfied with the mental response' after returning to fourth in Premier League table
While Hammers manager Sam Allardyce bemoans the excessive honesty of Matt Jarvis after the winger failed to win a penalty in the first-half of the match
the emirates stadium
Wednesday 16 April 2014
Arsenal have moved back into fourth place with a hard-fought 3-1 home win over West Ham United.
Arsène Wenger's side were briefly behind to Matt Jarvis's header but two goals from Lukas Podolski and one from Olivier Giroud moved them back into the Champions League positions.
Everton can return to fourth if they win their game in hand, at home against Crystal Palace, this evening but Arsenal have a slightly easier run-in and some confidence has returned to the Emirates.
Wenger admitted that his side knew it was a game they could not lose. "We were under absolute pressure to win the game, on top of that it was a derby and after giving a lot on Saturday it was difficult," he said. "Maybe we could have scored more, but I was satisfied with the mental response of the team tonight, the focus tonight was outstanding.
"We showed maturity not to panic when we went 1-0 down. I had to rest a number of players but it was good that players like Kim Kallstrom managed to contribute."
Podolski agreed that the victory was vital with just four league games left.
"The Champions League is very important and we must focus on the next game to ensure that we can qualify," Podolski said. "The FA Cup is after the season, we leave it now and we focus on the Premier League because everyone wants to play in the Champions League. The atmosphere is amazing."
Sam Allardyce in typically furious form on the sideline (Getty) West Ham manager Sam Allardyce bemoaned the excessive honesty of Matt Jarvis after the West Ham winger failed to win a penalty in the first-half of the match. Jarvis stayed on his feet after being caught by Bacary Sagna when it would have been easier to go down and win the penalty.
West Ham manager Allardyce said afterwards that Jarvis ought to have taken the decision out of the hands of referee Kevin Friend. “You get slaughtered for diving but when someone is honest and you don’t get what you should get, it is a critical decision, so you have to make the referee’s mind up,” Allardyce said afterwards. “If there is contact you should go down and make the referee’s mind up for him. There is no reward for being honest.”
Allardyce, though, did say that this non-penalty was not the reason West Ham did not win, and he will not be instructing his players to act differently next team. “You cannot ask players who are honest to be any different,” he said. “It is against their nature. You hope the referee gives you the decisions you deserve.”
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