Arsene Wenger admits he is delighted Arsenal has proved the critics wrong after his team secured its place in the Champions League with a 1-0 win at Newcastle.

“We have faced many storms and had some big lows against Bradford, Blackburn and at home to Bayern Munich,” said Wenger. “They lacked belief because we couldn’t win the big games, but Bayern away changed our season.

“They continued to believe when seven points behind Tottenham in mid-March. We had no room for error, but I couldn’t see one sign of them giving in. They showed an exceptional mental attitude and have been rewarded,” added Wenger.

“I am proud of the spirit and character of the team.”

“They have shown me in the last two months that they are exceptional. They have finished with 73 points, which is three more than last season.

“They are one of the best groups I have had in my life.”

The results: Chelsea 2 (Mata 7, Torres 76) bt Everton 1 (Naismith 14); Liverpool 1 (Coutinho 23) bt QPR 0; Manchester City 2 (Rodwell 29, 59) lost to Norwich 3 (Pilkington 26, Holt 54, Howson 65); Newcastle 0 lost to Arsenal 1 (Koscielny 52); Southampton 1 (Lambert 57) drew with Stoke 1 (Crouch 47); Swansea 0 lost to Fulham 3 (Kacaniklik 22, Berbatov 77, Emanuelson 90); Tottenham 1 (Bale 90) bt Sunderland 0; West Brom 5 (Morrison 40, Lukaku 50, 81, 86, Mulumbu 81) drew with Manchester United 5 (Kagawa 6, Olsson, 9-og, Buttner 30, van Persie 53, Hernandez 63); West Ham 4 (Nolan 23, 79, 87, Vaz Te 34) bt Reading 2 (McCleary 53, Le Fondre 55); Wigan 2 (Boyce 21, Baker, 45-og) drew with Aston Villa 2 (Bent 5, Vlaar 61). — Agencies

I want to make additions to the squad, but keep the structure, quality and spirit of the team.

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