Wenger rests easy af­ter his Gun­ners stay in the groove

Premier League: Fine run con­tin­ues af­ter Au­gust’ s hor­ror show at An­field

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - SPORT -

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

Goals ei­ther side of half­time 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; A de­fi­ant Jurgen Klopp is con­fi­dent Liver­pool will re­dis­cover their killer touch af­ter pass­ing up a se­ries of chances to see off Newcastle yes­ter­day.

The Reds have now won only one of their last seven games in all com­pe­ti­tion af­ter their 1-1 draw on Ty­ne­side and are seven points adrift of league pace­set­ters Manch­ester City and Manch­ester United.

How­ever, Klopp, whose 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.

Sun­day’s fix­ture at the Emi­rates marked the 21st an­niver­sary of Wenger’s ar­rival team is now strug­gling to score as well as to keep clean sheets, said: “There are dif­fer­ent ways to get one win in seven.

“You can play badly and lose a lot, or you play in more than a few games re­ally well. In most of the games we have been the bet­ter side, but a few chances have been enough for the op­po­nent to score.

“That has hap­pened too of­ten, of course, but the only al­ter­na­tive for us is to carry on. I am not con­cerned.”

Liver­pool took a 27 thArsene 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. minute lead at St James’ Park courtesy of Philippe Coutinho, only to see it can­celled out just nine min­utes later by Joselu’s for­tu­itous goal.

How­ever, they also wasted sev­eral good op­por­tu­ni­ties to win the game, and might have lost it at the end had Mag­pies sub­sti­tute Mo­hamed Di­ame been more clin­i­cal.

Asked if the re­sult was fair, Klopp replied: “Yes, be­cause we scored once and Newcastle scored once. What do you think?”

When the ques­tioner an­swered that he thought it was a fair re­sult, Klopp said: “This was the first foot­ball game you saw? In­ter­est­ing. Ob­vi­ously we have dif­fer­ent opin­ions.”

The Reds will re­turn to ac­tion af­ter the in­ter­na­tional break with a home game against high-fly­ing United and, while Klopp is con­fi­dent there is more to come, he knows they will have to be more clin­i­cal to get any­thing out of it.

He said: “I have played a lot of times re­ally badly and got a point and, af­ter that, ac­tu­ally it feels like you have won a point. But you know, we have a real prob­lem. We have to play bet­ter in the next game be­cause oth­er­wise we will not get a point.”

Newcastle man­ager Rafael Ben­itez, who had six years in charge at An­field, was un­der­stand­ably more sat­is­fied af­ter a game which was watched by mil­lion­aire busi­ness­woman Amanda Stave­ley at the end of a week rife with talk of a takeover on Ty­ne­side.

He said: “Some games you get what you de­serve, some games not.

“In this case, we got one point at home and I don’t like that – but against a top side, I think it’s pos­i­tive.”

The pro­moted Mag­pies have now taken 10 points from their first seven games and are ninth in the ta­ble – and that, too, is a source of com­fort for the Spa­niard.

He said: “If you had asked me be­fore, maybe I would have said yes, but af­ter the games we lost, I think we de­served some­thing more. It could be even bet­ter. But I will not be greedy, I’ll just be happy with that.” Ever­ton man­ager Ron­ald Koe­man in­sists he has no rea­son to think about his fu­ture while the play­ers are still com­mit­ted to his plans.

The Dutch­man re­fused to an­swer when asked, if he was the right man to lead the Tof­fees out of their cur­rent malaise af­ter the 1-0 home de­feat by Burn­ley made it four de­feats in five Premier League matches.

Ever­ton have just seven points from as many games and their per­for­mance against the Clarets was de­void of much gen­uine threat or hope of turn­ing things around once they had gone be­hind to Jeff Hen­drick’s 22nd-minute goal.

Koe­man, how­ever, be­lieves he saw enough in the dis­play to give him con­fi­dence.

“It is not in my hands but I try to get the best out of the play­ers,” he said.

“If there is no com­mit­ment and no ag­gres­sion that is maybe a rea­son to think about my fu­ture but I thank the play­ers for their com­mit­ment today.

“I can’t com­plain about my play­ers today, they did ev­ery­thing. Maybe we could cre­ate more but it is not so easy against Burn­ley. You go down in the re­sult, they are re­ally de­fen­sive­minded, re­ally phys­i­cal.”

Specif­i­cally asked whether he was the right man for Ever­ton, Koe­man said: “I don’t an­swer this type of ques­tion. That is not the busi­ness at this mo­ment.”

Burn­ley man­ager Sean Dy­che, mean­while, was de­lighted with the re­sult which se­cured their best start to a top-flight sea­son away from home since 1966 – and their best start to a Premier League cam­paign.

But he none­the­less had some sym­pa­thy with Koe­man’s sit­u­a­tion.

“He’s a very good man­ager at a very good club and with some very good play­ers,” he said.

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