Wenger says most clubs would love to emulate Arsenal after finishing above Spurs

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger waves to the fans after the 4-0 win against Aston Villa

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger waves to the fans after the 4-0 win against Aston Villa - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsene Wenger claimed the vast majority of their Premier League rivals would gladly swap places with Arsenal after they snatched the runners-up spot from Tottenham.

The Gunners’ 4-0 victory at home to relegated Aston Villa lifted them to second place in the table, a point above Tottenham but 10 behind league champions Leicester.

It represented a highest league finish for Wenger’s side since 2005 and the Arsenal boss said: “We are not happy by being second, but 18 other teams would be happy to be in our position.

“You have to say Leicester have been exceptional – they lost only three games. It’s not only us who are behind them and we have beaten them twice.

“We are second in the league and we wanted to be first, but you cannot say first is good and all the rest is rubbish. We have made over 70 pts and in the Premier League that’s not easy.

“We don’t start the season thinking we want to finish above Tottenham, we start the season thinking we want to win the league. For a while we believed we could do it.

“But I think we kept going until the end. The only target before the game was to finish second and we achieved it, so at least today the supporters had some satisfaction.”

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Olivier Giroud fired the Gunners into a fifth-minute lead, but the home supporters had to wait until the latter stages of the game for victory and second place to be confirmed.

Giroud struck twice in as many minutes before club captain Mikel Arteta, who came on as a late substitute for Mesut Ozil, signed off his Arsenal career with the fourth goal in injury time.

Arteta has been released along with fellow midfielders Tomas Rosicky – who was presented with a silver cannon to mark his 10 years’ service to the club – and Mathieu Flamini.

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