Wenger calls for Arsenal to 'fight like mad' for top four after Tottenham defeat

Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon scored goals to inflict a serious blow on the Gunners’ hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League after a 2-1 loss at White Hart Lane

Arsene Wenger has called on Arsenal to “fight like mad” for a place in the top four of the Premier League after their hopes of securing qualification for the Champions League took a blow in the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham.

The Gunners fell seven points behind their north London rivals after Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon inflicted defeat on Wenger’s team on Sunday.

“It’s very frustrating,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “But we have to put the energy in like we did today and keep going. You never know.

“It would be absolutely terrible not to continue to fight like mad because there were a lot of positives in the game.

“What happened today was repeated so many times in the big games. It’s difficult being 2-0 down – in any big game you have a big task.”

Arsenal are at risk of not qualifying for Europe’s premier competition for the first time in 14 seasons but Wenger was cryptic when it was suggested that a rumoured €1.73 billion takeover could end their current slide.

“If people are ready to invest money that means the club does not go too much in a bad direction,” he said.

Bale and Lennon were both allowed to run behind the Arsenal back line and advance on Wojciech Szczesny as they grabbed quickfire goals, and Wenger admitted his side’s defending did not look good at first glance.

“I will have to watch [the defending] again but it looks a bit like that,” he conceded when asked if their poor defensive display had proved costly.

“It’s difficult to swallow a defeat like that because of the effort we put in and because the energy levels we produced for the 90 minutes were tremendous.

“But we made it difficult for ourselves in the first half. We had no shots on goal, we were 2-0 down.

“In the second half we came back and dominated the game but there were many fouls that intelligently stopped the game and it was difficult to get a flow in the final 20 minutes.

“The game suffered from too many stops in play and we didn’t find the second goal.”

Wenger refuted claims, however, that the balance in power in north London was shifting after Spurs’ latest victory.

“Look, that’s not the impression I get from the game today,” he insisted.

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