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02 Oct 2017 08:03
Arsenal is proving its doubters wrong (Reuters)
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal are ready to silence the critics who wrote them off in the aftermath of their humiliating loss against Liverpool.
Wenger’s side have been revitalised since the 4-0 mauling at Anfield in August and they maintained that momentum with a 2-0 win over Brighton on Sunday.
Nacho Monreal’s first Premier League goal since 2013 put Arsenal ahead in the early stages and Alex Iwobi wrapped up the points after the interval at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners have now taken 10 points from four league games since that embarrassment on Merseyside, a loss so woeful that it sparked fresh calls for Wenger’s resignation from fans who had protested against him last season.
Wenger is convinced the transfer window, which shut days after the Liverpool defeat, had destabilised his team, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs leaving and Alexis Sanchez seeing his mooted move to Manchester City fall through.
Convinced Arsenal, who have won six of their last seven matches, are now unified again, Wenger believes they can enjoy a successful season.
“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,” Wenger said.
“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.”
Arsenal head into the international break level on points with champions Chelsea and six behind leaders Manchester City.
In a remarkable goal from Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool secured a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United on Sunday, but it was another hugely frustrating match for their manager, Jurgen Klopp.
On a day when victory would have lifted them above reigning champions Chelsea and into the top four in the Premier League, Liverpool struggled yet again to turn their superiority into goals.
Klopp’s team enjoyed twice as much possession as Newcastle, but wasted several opportunities and had to rely on Coutinho’s stunning 30-yard goal for their point at St James’ Park.
By contrast, Newcastle - managed by former Reds boss Rafael Benitez - enjoyed a 100 percent record as they created a solitary clear-cut chance and took it, although Joselu required a huge slice of good fortune to claim the equaliser before half-time.
Liverpool could have few complaints because Newcastle’s work-rate deserved some reward and they did pose early problems for a defence that had conceded 10 goals in their three previous away games.
The Liverpool goalkeeper, Simon Mignolet, dealt comfortably with a shot from Matt Ritchie before the Reds finally took a measure of control in midfield and carved out several opportunities, starting in the 18th minute when Joe Gomez directed Mohamed Salah’s cross into the side-netting.
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