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Football: Wenger wants revived Arsenal to push on

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal have been transformed by their gallant Champions League exit to Bayern Munich, but warned they can't afford any slips in their challenge for a top-four finish.

Although Wenger's side were eliminated from the Champions League on the away goals rule in midweek despite winning 2-0 at the Allianz Arena, the positive vibes following that impressive performance were clear to see on Saturday as Arsenal beat League Cup winners Swansea 2-0.

The win at the Liberty Stadium moved Arsenal to within two points of Chelsea, who lie in fourth position in the Premier League, ahead of the Blues' meeting with West Ham United on Sunday.

And Wenger was delighted by his side's ability to follow up their dominant display in Munich with another accomplished effort against Swansea.

With Arsenal's fragile morale finally looking a little more robust, Wenger demanded his side maintain those standards during the remaining weeks of the campaign as they look to qualify for next season's Champions League.

"I'm a great admirer of the attitude of this team. To win on Wednesday transformed this team," Wenger said.

"You can't question the attitude and the solidarity. Now they have to show this until the end of the season.

"There will be big pressure but I think we will come through it because we know what is expected and we have been here before."

Second half goals from Nacho Monreal, the Spanish left-back's first since his January move from Malaga, and Ivory Coast forward Gervinho secured three valuable points.

But Wenger maintained the true significance of the victory will not be felt until the very end of the season.

"We will know how important this win was at the end of the season. But we knew we couldn't afford to drop points," he added.

"Overall, it is difficult to win away in the Champions League and then win away in the Premier League and I would like to congratulate the players for that.

"They defended well once again. It was a performance of defensive stability and Swansea had very few chances."

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup insists his side have not lost their edge since beating Bradford to win the club's first ever major trophy and establishing in a comfortable mid-table position.

However, he warned his players their performances between now and the end of the season will provide an indication of how far they can progress in the longer term.

"It is important always, as an individual and as a team, to try to find another level. And even in training, everyone wants to win all the time," Laudrup said.

"It's not often a small club finds itself in this position, safe and with a trophy.

"If you have the ambition to do well and move up higher, you have to do well in every game. You have to show the right attitude and ambition and that was fine today.

"I hope some of the players go to top clubs. If they do, they have to learn to win every game because at a top club if you win five games and lose the sixth, that is not good enough."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130316/football-wenger-wants-revived-arsenal-push