By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger admits he is keen for his side to finish in third place as it would mean avoiding a Champions League qualification match.

Arsenal moved three points ahead of Tottenham and eight clear of Chelsea on Saturday as they took advantage of their rivals’ goalless draw at Stamford Bridge by beating Aston Villa 3-0.

While Wenger admits he has to stop himself from getting carried away by his side’s resurgence up the table, he says finishing in third place would be a big boost.

“We have come through a very difficult period. We have learnt from that and must keep our feet on the ground and focus on the next game,” he said.

“It makes a massive difference [to finish in third] because fourth place is a qualifier and third place is really the Champions League.

“I would prefer not [to have to qualify], as would everybody, but if we have to do it, we do it. And don’t forget, it’s after the Euros so we might not have all of our players.”

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25 Mar 2012