LONDON: England winger Theo Walcott said Arsenal should heed the lessons of Munich as they chase a place in the top four of the Premier League and a quick-fire return to the Champions League places.
A 2-0 win away to League Cup-winners Swansea was achieved with a first Arsenal goal for January signing Nacho Monreal and a strike from substitute Gervinho secured the three points. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also hit the crossbar twice.
Afterwards Walcott said that the spirit and morale in evidence during Wednesday’s vain European victory away to Bayern in Munich in midweek could prove a key factor in the season’s run-in.
Walcott said: “We had a lot of leaders in Germany, telling people what to do. There was more communication out on the pitch than for a long time. We have been too quiet, we’ve been afraid to tell each other what to do – even to tell each other off.
“Now we need to show a bit more of that. We want to prove we want to win and show the desire and commitment. We need to show it to each other and maybe sometimes the referee as well.”
Walcott, who has extended a contract which had been due to expire at the season’s end, added: “We want to be at places like Munich again. The way we played in Germany shows how much we have underperformed at times this season.
“I haven’t properly got my head around how we can beat a team like Bayern, but get beaten by some minor teams. We need to learn very quickly.”
Saints sink Liverpool
Mauricio Pochettino celebrated his second win since replacing Nigel Adkins as manager of Southampton who beat Liverpool 3-1 surprisingly easily.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, surprisingly, preferred Joe Allen in central midfield to Lucas but admitted his mistake by bringing on the Brazilian at half-time.
That was too late: Saints already led 2:1 on strikes from Morgan Schneiderlin and Liverpool-born Rickie Lambert to one from Philippe Coutinho. Jay Rodriguez refreshed Southampton’s two-goal advantage.
Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa edged closer to safety after a dramatic 3-2 win over fellow strugglers Queens Park Rangers. Villa secured a second successive win despite falling behind to Jermaine Jenas’s second goal in as many games. Christian Benteke scored Villa’s vital winner, the Belgian’s 17th goal of the season.
Robert Huth was completing a three-game suspension as Stoke ended a run of three defeats with a goalless home draw against West Bromwich.
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