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Flamini: Gunners focused on next game


Mathieu Flamini. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Mathieu Flamini. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Mathieu Flamini. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

MIDFIELDER Mathieu Flamini insists Arsenal are not about to let their season fall apart despite having to pick themselves up from another major setback.

The Gunners looked to have gone some way to recovering from the 6-0 thrashing at Chelsea when they came from behind with two goals in as many second-half minutes to lead Swansea 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

However, a calamitous own goal from Flamini in the last minute of normal time – when the ball was partially blocked by defender Per Mertesacker, only for it to ricochet off goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and back onto Flamini before rolling into the net – saw the relegation-battling Welsh side leave with a share of the points.

Arsene Wenger's beleaguered squad must now lift themselves for the visit of a rampant Manchester City in Saturday's late afternoon kick-off, where defeat would all but end any remaining Premier League title ambitions and also allow Everton to crank up the pressure in the fight for a top-four finish.

"The team spirit is still here and we gave a good example because coming back to 2-1, we were holding the result until near the end, so it was a good reaction for the team," said Flamini, who had been recalled to the starting XI by Wenger.


"Obviously, it will be very difficult to win the league now because we dropped three points at Chelsea and another two here.

"It will be very difficult, but what is important is to focus on the next game because we have to get a good result and then we will see."

Wenger has seen his midfield options hit by injuries to key men such as Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil, while defender Laurent Koscielny is also set for a spell on the sidelines with a calf problem.

Captain Thomas Vermaelen, however, maintains such issues just have to be dealt with.

"I don't think that is an excuse," said the Belgian defender, who replaced Koscielny at centre-half against Swansea and was outmuscled by Wilfried Bony as he headed Swansea in front.

"We have a big squad with good players, so that shouldn't be the reason."