Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Podolski: Today was the first step towards Champions League qualification

Lukas Podolski believes Arsenal's win over West Ham was their first step towards securing Champions League qualification.

The German scored a brace in the Gunners 3-1 win over their London rivals and three points which propels them above Everton into fourth place - for 24 hours at least.

The attacker latched on to a Santi Cazorla pass and then fired a snap shot into the far corner to put the Gunners level after they had fallen behind from Matt Jarvis' opener.

Podolski added his second 12 minutes before the end, combining with Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey to fire a close range shot into the roof of the net.

It was the Gunners first league win in five league games, following the north London derby win over Spurs at White Hart Lane.

Podolski told Sky Sports:
"After the FA Cup is was important that we switch on to the Premier League....we must fight for the fourth place. 
"We want to play next year in the Champions League - it is very important and we must watch from game to game. 
"Today was the first step which was very important, now let's focus on our next game."
The Gunners travel to fellow FA Cup finalist Hull City on Sunday, but not before Everton face Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Wednesday night as the battle for the last Champions League spot intensifies.

Man of the match Cazorla said he knew what was at stake from tonight's result.

The Spaniard said:
"The most important thing tonight was the win, we need to win all the games."
And on linking up with Podolski for the opener, he added:
"It's easy when I have an understanding with Lukas, always in training every day. The most important thing was the win and now we freshen up for Sunday."

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