By Chris Harris
Defensive organisation is the key to Arsenal's revival, according to Thomas Vermaelen.
Arsène Wenger's side recorded their eighth win in nine Premier League games on Sunday as Mikel Arteta's late strike saw off Manchester City at Emirates Stadium.
Vermaelen contributed to a vital clean sheet - Arsenal's fourth in six matches - and he praised the whole team for doing their duty off the ball.
"It's about the organisation of the team," said Vermaelen. "It's not just about the defenders who defend, it's the whole shape of the team. That's really good at the moment and we must be really pleased with that.
"The momentum we had before QPR was really important because when you win seven games in a row, you climb up the table. But in the Premier League, everybody can beat everybody, we can all drop points. You have to be focused, because every game will be hard.
"In some games we have shown a lot of quality and we can compete with everybody. But you have to be consistent in the league and sometimes that's not been the case for us. But we will try to do that better next year. I'm confident we can do that."
For now, the target is a top-three finish - something that seemed unlikely two months ago. Arsenal have a two-point advantage over Tottenham - with Chelsea and Newcastle a further three points back - and Vermaelen is determined to end the season as north London's premier team.
"That is what we play for, the battle for third place, which gives us direct qualification for the Champions League," he said. "That is very important for the Club and is our main target at the moment.
"I have only been here for three years but I know there is a big rivalry between Tottenham and Arsenal. I hear it every day on the streets, they ask us to be above Tottenham at the end of the season. But we can only look at ourselves and just play.
"If we win every game, we will finish on top of them, so that is what we will try to do."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source