Robin van Persie
Arsenal's van Persie celebrates with Oxlade-Chamberlain after scoring a goal against Manchester United during their English Premier League match in London. REUTERS

Wojciech Szczesny and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have backed Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League, despite the club's 2-1 defeat to Manchester United at the weekend.

The Gunners slipped to their third successive defeat on Sunday to leave them five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger came under sustained criticism from the home support following his decision to withdraw Oxlade-Chamberlain for Andrei Arshavin immediately after the Gunners drew level.

Arshavin, Arsenal's record signing, was deemed to be at fault for United's winning goal after he failed to prevent Antonio Valencia's run.

However, Wenger refused to blame Arshavin for United's winner and the manager's standpoint has been defended by both Oxlade-Chamberlain and goalkeeper Szczesny.

"He's Arsene Wenger, a top-quality manager for a number of years for Arsenal," Oxlade-Chamberlain is quoted on ESPN Soccernet. "He's done a lot for this club so whatever he does and whatever decision he makes towards me and the team, I'll have to respect and I do respect that.

"The fans pay money to come and watch us so they have the right to have their own opinions and show their frustration. But all we can guarantee and I can guarantee is the boys are completely focused on the task at hand."

And goalkeeper Szczesny believes the club still have a realistic chance of finishing in the top four.

"I am confident that we will pick ourselves up, will win games and get our position in the Champions League," the goalkeeper told the official Arsenal Web site. "I am not worried, just disappointed obviously.

"It should be a big confidence boost for us with the likes of Jack Wilshire and Bacary Sagna coming back and Kieran Gibbs as well."

Chamberlain, who made his first Premier League start for Arsenal against United, also voiced his support for the club's Champions League push.

"It is crucial," Oxlade-Chamberlain added. "We know we have to win every game and approach every match in the same way.

"We always look to win, we know the task that lies ahead of us but we have belief within the dressing room. The boss believes, the boys believe and we know we have the quality that it takes.

"We are just going to keep working hard and try to correct our mistakes."