Giroud warning for rivals
Olivier Giroud has warned both Chelsea and Tottenham that Arsenal have them firmly in their sights as the race for Champions League qualification hots up.
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12. Olivier Giroud
The Gunners recorded a sixth win in the last eight Barclays Premier League games when they saw off relegation battlers Reading 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium in what was Nigel Adkins' first match in charge of the visitors.
With Chelsea losing at Southampton, the Gunners are now just two points behind the Blues, and four off third-placed Tottenham - on whom they hold a game in hand.
Giroud, who scored Arsenal's third goal in the second half, maintains momentum is now very much with the Gunners as they look to hunt down their rivals over the run-in.
"We are confident. We are used to finishing the championship well. And again this season we will do the same," said Giroud.
"I trust in our qualities, so I really think we can make fourth and maybe even third place if we continue to play like we did (against Reading).
"We are playing well. We succeed to score lots of goals.
"However, we need to be more concentrated when we are defending, because we need more clean sheets because we dominate the games.
"We want to be ambitious and keep our focus."
Giroud feels Arsenal must concentrate on taking care of their own business rather than worry about whether their rivals may drop points.
"We take the games one by one," he said.
"Spurs have to play against Manchester City and Chelsea, so it is hard games for them.
"But every game is difficult, we can see that as Chelsea lost in Southampton, so we have to keep focus, concentrated and strong."
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger challenged his men to hold their nerve.
"For us, what is important is to be in good form and just focus on winning the next game, that is all you can do," he said.
"We want to do it, and I am sure everyone will give their maximum.
"We believe that since November we have created momentum, but we have lost the decisive games up to Bayern (Munich away), so we could not quite catch the confidence.
"You play Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham, you lose, so the confidence drops. But against Bayern, you could see right away, that (result) was a massive lift."
Ivory Coast forward Gervinho fired Arsenal into an early lead yesterday, in what was one of his best recent displays.
The 25-year-old has polarised opinion among Gunners fans since his £11million move from Lille in July 2011, with a string of inconsistent displays.
Wenger admitted that had been a concern.
"My worry was that he played in front of a negative atmosphere here, so you always think you persist to give him the confidence - but you risk putting him further down if it doesn't work," the Arsenal boss said.
"You are always in that (dilemma), but I thought when he came on at Swansea last week he was lively.
"At Bayern he was lively and he scored the goal which gave him confidence again."
Wenger added: "Gervinho wants to do well. He loves football. He is a hard worker. Physically, you cannot fault his effort.
"Even when he had a bad period, he always tried very hard."