In the latest Arsenal news, manager Arsene Wenger believes Thursday’s Europa League win at AC Milan will restore the belief of his players following a difficult run of results.
The Gunners travelled to Italy on the back of four straight defeats, leaving Wenger under mounting fan pressure to stand down at the end of the season.
With Milan enjoying their best unbeaten run in nine years going into first leg of the last-16 encounter, it looked like being a tough night for the north Londoners.
However, Arsenal produced the perfect response as first-half strikes from Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan secured an impressive 2-0 victory.
Wenger hopes the triumph at the San Siro could be the turning point for his team, likening them to a boxer struggling to get up after a knockdown during their four-game losing run.
“When you have big disappointments you forget quickly that you have some qualities. In one week, you do not become a bad team or a bad player. Nothing is permanent in life,” said Wenger.
“When you are knocked down it’s a little bit like in a boxing match when you’re half-knocked down, you don’t have time to recover and the next one comes again. That’s what happened to us.
“But at some stage you know you have to respond. Your pride and desire to show quality has to come through in the game.”
While delighted to have a sizeable advantage going in to the return leg of the last-16 tie at the Emirates Stadium next week, Wenger has warned his players not to allow complacency to creep into their game when they face Milan again.
“The result will lift the belief in the team again,” he added. “We want to keep our focus and finish the job next week. That’s what the target is.”
Before Arsenal can begin to think about the second leg of their Europa League, they must first focus on Sunday’s visit of Watford, who got the better of the Gunners in October.