Thursday 23 November 2017

Wenger delighted with Arsenal's 'united' response to Anfield mauling

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal have hit form since their Anfield mauling
Arsene Wenger's Arsenal have hit form since their Anfield mauling

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal were written off too early this season after they continued their Premier League resurgence with victory over Brighton.

Goals either side of half-time from Nacho Monreal and Alex Iwobi earned a 2-0 success against the Seagulls to leave the Gunners with 10 points from the four league games played since August's 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool.

Arsenal, who have also claimed back-to-back Europa League wins and a Carabao Cup triumph since losing at Anfield, now head into the international break level on 13 points with fourth-placed Chelsea and six behind the table-topping Manchester clubs.

"I knew that after the game in Liverpool everybody would write us off and I knew it just depends on us, how much we respond," said Gunners manager Wenger.

"Nothing is permanent; you're not bad in a permanent way, if you can do something about it, and you're not good in a permanent way, if you don't keep your urgency.

"We responded in a united way and we have put some wins together and some good performances as well."

Monreal turned home the 17th-minute opener following a scramble in the Albion box, before Nigeria midfielder Iwobi sealed success by superbly finishing following a flowing Arsenal move early in the second period.

Wenger admits he will be sleeping better during the forthcoming set of international fixtures than he did during the last lot, which came immediately after their Anfield horror show.

"Our last international break was a nightmare, this one is a bit better," he added.

"I would have loved to continue to play but we cannot do anything about that.

"Let's hope that the players come back in a good shape."

Sunday's fixture at the Emirates marked the 21st anniversary of Wenger's arrival in north London.

The 67-year-old, who succeeded Bruce Rioch on October 1, 1996 and has since won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, said he was initially unaware of the milestone occasion.

"I did not know about it," he said. "I was told by the press.

"I wouldn't like to reflect too much on that. I have kept focus on my job always under good and bad circumstances.

"When you are 21 years somewhere you know that you have good and bad moments. Nobody can make 21 years and only fly. What I love in the game is to deal with bad moments and find the response."

After Arsenal went ahead, Brighton offered some resistance and almost equalised when winger Solly March rattled the right post following a well-worked free-kick routine.

Albion were ultimately left empty-handed but manger Chris Hughton felt his team gave a good account of themselves on their first visit to Arsenal in 34 years.

"When you come here, you know it's going to be a difficult afternoon, you know it is," Hughton said.

"They've got such quality, you have to set up your team.

"It's very difficult to be very expansive here, particularly when you're a team like we are that's just got promoted.

"Concentration levels have to be very much for 90 minutes with what they've got and we probably just needed to make more of some of the good areas we got in."

Press Association

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