• Premier League

Wenger laments Ramsey and Ozil absences

ESPN staff
April 21, 2014
Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring for Arsenal at Hull © Getty Images

Arsene Wenger has suggested Arsenal might still be fighting for the title instead of fourth place if Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil had not suffered injuries at such a crucial stage of the season.

Arsenal have been without both players for a significant period in the second half of the season, during which time they have dropped out of the title race.

However, Ramsey - who made his comeback at the start of this month after three months on the sidelines - opened the scoring in the 3-0 win at Hull and looked to be recovering full fitness, while Ozil returned to action after sustaining a hamstring injury in the defeat to Bayern Munich last month.

"The table is very close," Wenger said when asked about Ramsey and Ozil. "Liverpool played very well in the second part of the season and you wouldn't like to take anything away from them, but they could focus completely on the Premier League. If you look at the injuries, plus the players that we missed plus the schedule we had, of course it was much more heavier than Liverpool."

"We were having problems scoring goals away from home and [Ramsey] and Ozil give us a cutting edge in the final third that makes us much more dangerous," Wenger added. "Ozil has always the timing of the pass - the incisiveness of his passing helps you turn quickly from defence to offence.

"Football is down to quality of the players and you could see that today."

The victory keeps Arsenal's hopes of a top-four finish in their own hands and Wenger said it was a "big win" for his side, which comes as a boost ahead of the FA Cup final against the same opponents.

However, Wenger said: "What is important is we finish as strong as we can in the Premier League and, after, the cup final will be completely different."

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