Hleb puts Spurs nightmare to bed

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Alexander Hleb believes Arsenal's recent form has helped to erase the memory of getting thrashed at Tottenham – and has backed Emmanuel Adebayor to help continue the run on Saturday against Manchester United.

Arsène Wenger's side have won four on the spin since they lost 5-1 in the second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final at White Hart Lane last month.

It is a sequence of results which has taken them five points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Arsenal travel to Old Trafford for their FA Cup fifth-round tie against United at the weekend and midfielder Hleb is certain victory there will ensure the Spurs defeat becomes a distant memory.

Hleb said: "It was very important for us to get things right again after the Spurs defeat. Sometimes matches like that one happen in football – maybe we didn't have the right level of concentration, it's difficult to say. It seemed to me that they maybe wanted the win more than we did. But then, it was as if every shot they took went in."

Full-back Gaël Clichy also felt the performances have atoned for the defeat to their rivals. Clichy added: "I think it was really important to do that, for the fans and the club. So we have to carry on like this – combining that spirit with the kind of game we play, then we can achieve great things this season."

Arsenal remain in three competitions, with Milan their opponents in the Champions League next week.

Central to their hopes of silverware is Adebayor, the Togo international striker who has scored in his last nine games for his club.

"He's in fantastic form. It's great for him and great for the team," Hleb added. "Now with important games such as Manchester United and Milan and others coming up, it's ideal to have a striker who is taking his chances whichever way they come and showing such all-round ability."

Former Gunners winger Robert Pires, part of the squad when they won the title in 2006, hopes Wenger's men will pick up silverware this season.

However, he also feels United have a squad to push the title race to the wire. "What they are achieving is beautiful in terms of the way they play and I wish them to win something," Pires said. "I think that they can [challenge United], but the major difference is the depth of the bench at United."