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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

'Sad' Arsene Wenger backs successor to lead Arsenal to Premier League title

Frenchman completed his 22-year stay at Arsenal with a first away win of 2018

Arsene Wenger salutes the crowd ahead of Arsenal's final game of the Premier League season against Huddersfield Town. Rui Vieira / EPA
Arsene Wenger salutes the crowd ahead of Arsenal's final game of the Premier League season against Huddersfield Town. Rui Vieira / EPA

Arsene Wenger is confident the next Arsenal manager will get the club competing for the Premier League title again after the Frenchman signed off his 22-year tenure with a win at Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 38th minute goal, his 10th in 13 games since joining Arsenal in January, was enough to ensure Wenger's era concluded with a win. It was the first time in 2018 that Arsenal collected points away from home.

While Wenger, 68, is unsure of what his own future now holds, he is optimistic that Arsenal are well placed to challenge for top honours, despite ending the season in sixth-place, 12 points behind Liverpool in fourth.

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"It will be hard to adjust of course but I will have to deal with that," said Wenger, who led Arsenal to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups. "I want to wish this group of players well and the staff coming in. I will remain an Arsenal fan above everything else.

"Do I feel relief? Not really, I'm sad. At some stage it has to end, I wish everyone well, the fans have been great until the end and I wish the club well for the future.

"I see a bright future for my successor because the team has a good attitude and quality. The team needs some additions and if they get them I think they will compete for the Premier League title."

Elsewhere on the final day, Tottenham Hotspur edged out Leicester City in a nine-goal thriller at Wembley Stadium.

Leicester twice led, at 1-0 and 3-1 through goals from Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Kelechi Iheanacho, but doubles from Harry Kane and Erik Lamela, and a Christian Fuchs own goal saw Spurs claim all three points and secure third place in the table.

Crystal Palace beat relegated West Bromwich Albion 2-0 at Selhurst Park, with Wilfried Zaha and Patrick van Aanholt with the second half goals as the London club ended the season in 11th place.

Across London, David Moyes led West Ham United to victory against his former club Everton, a 3-1 win courtesy of two goals from Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic.

Bournemouth beat Burnley 2-1 at Turf Moor, Callum Wilson scoring deep in added time after Joshua King cancelled out Chris Wood's opener.