Arsenal boss believes win over Manchester United has answered critics
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
Arsene Wenger cited Arsenal’s demolition of Manchester United as the perfect riposte to his side’s critics following their Champions League shocker against Olympiacos.
The Gunners – and especially their manager – were roundly panned for the 3-2 home defeat to the Greek side that left them rooted to the bottom of Group F.
But Wenger’s side bounced back on Sunday by hammering United 3-0 at Emirates Stadium, with Alexis Sanchez scoring twice and Mesut Ozil also on target inside a blistering first 20 minutes.
“Overall we had a convincing performance, a strong and united response to our disappointment on Tuesday night,” said the Arsenal boss. “It’s what you want in games of that stature.
“It shows that the group is very united and very strong as well. We started very strong, we decided to press very high, to play at a great pace and we did that very well.
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“In the second half we decided to be disciplined and control the result and we also did that very well, so we had two aspects in our game that were pleasing and convincing.
“It gives a strong answer to all the questions that were raised during the week. It just shows that, if you turn up with the right performance, you win.
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“I’ve been at the club 19 years and I know that what you want is a strong response in a big game when you have a disappointment.
“We focused on what is important in the game and that’s part of being at the top level. The pressure on any disappointment today is massive, but we dealt with it very well.”
Sunday’s comprehensive victory lifted the Gunners above United and into second place in the Premier League, just two points adrift of leaders Manchester City.
And Wenger, whose side are not back in action until October 17 due to the international break, believes the result has proved that his side can be serious title contenders.
“To win in a big game is always a statement and we are in it [the title race],” added the Frenchman. We are two points off the leaders, so I hope that result will give us belief and ambition to fight for it.
“My plan is to pray now that everybody comes back from international games without injury. We play at Watford straight away and then at home against Bayern Munich, when we need the same kind of performance.”