Wenger urges Gunners to retain explosive form

Midfielder Mesut Oezil (left) was among the scorers in Arsenal's 3-0 win over Manchester United as they made their case as a top contender for the EPL crown.
Midfielder Mesut Oezil (left) was among the scorers in Arsenal's 3-0 win over Manchester United as they made their case as a top contender for the EPL crown.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side set a standard in their victory over Manchester United that they must match week in, week out.

The Frenchman saw the Gunners scored thrice inside 20 minutes en route to a 3-0 victory over the Red Devils at home before the international break.

With Arsenal visiting Watford in the Premier League tomorrow, Wenger has challenged his men to deliver a similar performance and show that they are title contenders.

"I think the Manchester United game can increase the belief and hunger of the players," he told a press conference yesterday.

"The top eight can compete for the Premier League. It is difficult to rule anybody out.

"You can compete for the championship if you turn up and fight for every game. We need to show the same quality."

Arsenal go into the game second in the league on 16 points - just two adrift of leaders Manchester City.

Gunners midfielder Aaron Ramsey has pointed to their position in the table as reason to be "very optimistic" about a successful season.

Like his manager, he senses that their convincing victory over Louis van Gaal's men has given them the conviction that they can go on and win their first Premier League title since 2004.

"We owed them from a few years ago and the way we started the game was fantastic," said the Welshman. "Hopefully, we can continue that now and carry on to beat the bigger teams and carry on our form against the other teams."

He also expressed confidence that his own form in front of goal will improve now that he has scored his first of the season.

Ramsey had gone 20 appearances for club and country without scoring, a run going back to Arsenal's 3-1 win over Hull in May.

But he ended that drought with the opening goal in Wales' comfortable 2-0 victory over Andorra on Tuesday in the final European Championship qualifier.

Wenger is eager for his midfield men to get among the goals.

Germany star Mesut Oezil got his first league goal of the season against United and the manager is expecting more.

"You want Mesut to score as well in a big game and he did that against United," he said.

"When you are an offensive player, that is an important part of it.

"I believe there are goals in him and, in that game, he has shown it."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2015, with the headline 'Wenger urges Gunners to retain explosive form'. Print Edition | Subscribe