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Page last updated at 23:28 GMT, Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger prioritises league over FA Cup

Arsene Wenger
Arsenal were rarely tested in their 5-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium

Manager Arsene Wenger insists that winning the Premier League is Arsenal's main target this season, after booking their FA Cup quarter-final place.

Having lost in the Carling Cup final, they are second in the Premier League and still in the Champions League.

After beating Leyton Orient 5-0 in the Cup, Wenger said: "The league is a vital race. For us, the most important.

"It will be interesting until the end of the season. Every game now is a cup game," the Gunners boss added.

Wenger's side, fresh from Sunday's Carling Cup final defeat by Birmingham, lead Spanish champions Barcelona 2-1 after the first leg of their last 16 Champions League tie.

They will also now travel to Premier League title rivals Manchester United in the last eight of the FA Cup.

But acknowledging that all their remaining games may feel like cup games, Wenger said after thr win over Orient: "We had one tonight, and will have one on Saturday [against Sunderland in the Premier League]."

A classy hat-trick from Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner ensured Arsenal cruised past their League One opponents with minimal fuss in their FA Cup fifth round replay at the Emirates Stadium.

And Wenger professed himself pleased with the way his team bounced back from Sunday's painful 2-1 defeat at Wembley.

"It was a good response, we took the game in a serious way," he said. "It was good to win the game.

"We are in a fantastic run. On Sunday, we lost a game in special circumstances."

The Frenchman revealed that midfielder Tomas Rosicky, who limped off injured in the second half, had "a little concussion from an accidental elbow".

But Wenger, who has injury worries over Robin Van Persie and Theo Walcott, said he expected to him to be "all right".

He also praised Bendtner, along with Moroccan forward Maroune Chamakh, for both getting on the scoresheet.

"We cannot afford other injuries and for them to score is a bonus for us as we have so many games," he said.

Arsenal sit second in the Premier League, four points behind leaders Manchester United - who lost 2-1 at Chelsea on Monday - with a game in hand.

Meanwhile, Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade was impressed with Arsenal, describing them as "ruthless".

"They were in the mood tonight and made life difficult for us, they played some wonderful football," he said.

"Their attitude tonight to get the performance they got was absolutely spot on."

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see also
Arsenal 5-0 Leyton Orient
02 Mar 11 |  FA Cup
Man Utd to face Arsenal in FA Cup
02 Mar 11 |  FA Cup
FA Cup football as it happened
02 Mar 11 |  Football
Arsenal lose Van Persie & Walcott
01 Mar 11 |  Arsenal
Birmingham celebrate Carling Cup win
27 Feb 11 |  Birmingham
Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona
16 Feb 11 |  Europe
Leyton Orient 1-1 Arsenal
20 Feb 11 |  FA Cup

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