Wenger: Fightback today proves my Arsenal team has mental strength

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger - Credit: EMPICS Sport

Defiant Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists his men showed mental strength during their 2-2 draw with Manchester City today at the Emirates.

The long-serving Frenchman who saw his team twice equalise against Pep Guardiola’s side praised the character they showed in fighting back to gain a point.

Despite falling behind to a fourth minute Leroy Sane opener Theo Walcott equalised six minutes before half time.

In an attacking game the Gunners fought back for a second time after Sergio Aguero put City ahead moments later through a Shkodran Mustafi header eight minutes into the second half.

Speaking afterwards Wenger said: “I would say overall we started with a high level of anxiety and were punished straight away. I felt it was a mental test and overall you could see the team was touched on the confidence front and our game suffered.

“But we showed great mental resources because we were twice down and suffered losing a goal at the worst time just before half time and on top of that we lost Koscielny at half time.

“We came back to 2-2 and it helped us regain confidence. We showed mental strength which we hope will get us back to our normal fluency.”

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However the draw means Arsenal remain seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester City – albeit with a game in hand in their bid to finish in the top four.

Wenger admitted: “Mathematically for both teams it’s not the best operation.

“It’s very difficult to predict what will happen in the last ten games. How many games will we need to win to get into the top four I don’t know.

“I care about my team. We were under pressure today but we showed mental strength.”

There were strong appeals from Manchester City including Guardiola himself after the ball hit Nacho Monreal’s arm with moments remaining – but referee Andre Marriner waved away appeals. However, Wenger said: “Honestly I don’t know [if it was handball]. I don’t know.”

When pressed on his future Wenger became tight-lipped saying: “There is nothing to add. I have been here for 20 years. I will always support this club.”

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