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Feb 10, 2014

Mertesacker calls for Arsenal response

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker says he and his teammates must immediately bounce back from their 5-1 defeat at Liverpool when they take on Manchester United on Wednesday.

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The Gunners surrendered top spot in the Premier League to Chelsea after their comprehensive defeat at Anfield, with their Germany centre-back accepting the display was not good enough for a side with title ambitions.

“We feel very bad, disappointed with our performance right from the start. To be honest, it is one of the worst setbacks of this season,” Mertesacker told Arsenal's website.

Per Mertesacker and Robin van Persie Arsenal vs Man Utd
Per Mertesacker is hoping to get the better of former teammate Robin van Persie.

“It was just not good enough to compete at that level. We have the opportunity to respond quickly on Wednesday and we have to remind ourselves what we have done from Manchester City [when Arsenal lost 6-3 in November] until now.

“We have huge games coming up but we can rely on our fans that they will push us again. I think the team will give something back in the next couple of weeks.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has also urged his players to show a gritty resolve as they prepare to welcome United to Emirates Stadium, as he is expecting a huge improvement from his players.

“Our performance was poorer on Saturday than at Man City, but I’m confident we will respond in a positive matter on Wednesday,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“I think it’s a shame that we couldn’t turn up with a better performance. After 10 minutes we conceded two goals on set-pieces, that just shows that the level of concentration was not there and when nobody takes responsibility in these kind of situations, it’s always a bad sign.

“It is about how well we do at home at the Emirates, starting on Wednesday. Recently we have been very good defensively at home and offensively as well. That is what we want to show on Wednesday.”

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