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Friday 18 April 2014

Wenger wants defensive improvement

Arsene Wenger wants Arsenal to tighten up defensively

Arsene Wenger acknowledged his Arsenal side have defensive problems to face after their 2-2 draw with Liverpool, but urged the club's fans to have faith in his players as they pursue a Champions League spot.

A catalogue of errors saw the Gunners fall behind to Luis Suarez's fifth-minute opener and Jordan Henderson's second-half strike, only for the home side to suddenly click into gear and level thanks to Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott.

"It was a great football game where both teams went for it," Wenger said. "It was entertainment. We could honestly have lost the game but could have won it by three or four goals difference."

He continued: "It shows we created many chances going forward but were nervous defensively. The goals we have conceded show we were nervous from the start. Overall we showed great quality in the offensive period."

It is not the first time Arsenal's defenders have had fingers pointed at them this season and Wenger added: "I believe recent history has an impact on the way we started the game.

"I believe we have to get that out of our minds and focus on playing football and what we want to do to the opposition."

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was pleased with the response of his players following the FA Cup exit at Oldham on Sunday.

"There is an initial disappointment when you are 2-0 up but we knew Arsenal were going to have a spell," Rodgers said.

"We could have had a few more goals but my overriding emotion is one of pride. Sunday was more my fault than theirs. I am a great believer in young players and I put a lot of trust in them. The problem is when I put them in and I don't have some of our big players, it's difficult.

"But I never had second thoughts about getting a reaction because these players have been brilliant."

Press Association

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