By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger paid tribute to his "outstanding" players after watching them rack up a seventh consecutive Premier League victory on Saturday.

Goals from Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Mikel Arteta secured a comprehensive 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium as Arsenal opened up a three-point lead on Tottenham in the battle for third place.

This is the first time since 2007 that Wenger's side has enjoyed such a long winning run and the class of 2012 have arguably had it tougher with Spurs, Newcastle, Liverpool and Everton all defeated in recent weeks.

"It is a very successful run and we want to keep it going," Wenger told Arsenal Player. "We kept the momentum on Saturday with a great start. We came out of the blocks with pace, technique, movement, and I feel in the first 35 minutes we were outstanding.

"It gives us two big wins in a week because when you go to Everton and play Aston Villa at home and get six points, without conceding a goal, that is a fantastic achievement. If you saw Everton, they won at Swansea and that is a difficult place to go as well. I am very pleased with my players.

"Our target now [is to tighten our grip on third place]. I believe we have to focus on our performance and play for each other, fight for each other, then we have a chance."

Mikel Arteta's splendid free-kick put the seal on Saturday's victory and Arsenal's potency from dead-ball situations is not lost on Wenger.

"We have been waiting for set-pieces but this week don't forget we scored from a corner [at Everton] and we scored from a free kick," he said.

"I look at the stats of some other teams, for example Aston Villa - I think they didn't score from a corner since September - so it is difficult for everybody."

Watch the full interview with the boss on Arsenal Player.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
26 Mar 2012