Arsenal third-place represents double success for Robin van Persie

 

Robin van Persie has underlined the importance of Arsenal securing Champions League football again and also to finish above north London rivals Tottenham.

Arsenal beat West Brom 3-2 at the Hawthorns to end the Barclays Premier League campaign one point ahead of Spurs, who recorded what was in the end a hollow victory over Fulham at White Hart Lane, although fourth place could yet be good enough for a place in next season's Champions League qualifiers.

It completed a remarkable turnaround for the Gunners, who slumped to 17th after losing four of their opening seven league games and at one time trailed Spurs by 10 points.

Van Persie told Arsenal Player: "It was double important to finish third and also above Spurs. We knew what was at stake.

"It is just a fantastic feeling again to be ahead of Spurs. We heard that they won, but it doesn't really matter because we won our game.

"We are definitely in the Champions League again, and that was the main target from the match.

"We just had to qualify and everyone is very pleased, everyone is enjoying this moment."

 Van Persie praised the battling efforts of Arsene Wenger's squad during what has been a testing season.

"It is incredible. We had to dig deep and come back on a couple of occasions where we were having a hard time," the Dutchman said.

"At the start of the season, we had a very difficult period, but we bounced back very well from that.

"After that we had the games against AC Milan (in the Champions League) and Sunderland (in the FA Cup) which were quite a hard blow, but we did bounce back."

Van Persie netted 30 Premier League goals to help fire the Gunners back into the top four.

The Holland forward spent plenty of time applauding travelling supporters after the final whistle at The Hawthorns, and is set for talks with Arsenal over his future this week.

PA

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