Arsene Wenger content with improving Arsenal following draw with Manchester City


Arsene Wenger is confident Arsenal are firmly on the right track after continuing their encouraging start to the season with a draw at Manchester City yesterday.

Many pundits expected the Gunners to struggle after losing Robin van Persie and Alex Song this summer but they are unbeaten after five games and yesterday became only the second team to take points off City at the Etihad Stadium since February 2011.

Arsenal were the better team for much of the game but trailed to Joleon Lescott's first-half goal until Laurent Koscielny rifled in an equaliser eight minutes from time.

There were familiar weaknesses from Wenger's side, most notably poor defending for Lescott's goal and a failure to turn possession into goals, but the Frenchman did not see too many negatives.

He said: "I take this criticism on board because we conceded a goal from a corner but Man City is a team who scores more goals than anybody else from set-pieces.

"It's true that we missed chances but when you have the basic quality we have shown I believe the rest you can improve."

Koscielny would almost certainly have been a substitute had captain Thomas Vermaelen not been ruled out by flu, and the Frenchman grabbed his chance with both hands, showing wayward striker Gervinho how it is done with a superb finish.

Wenger admitted choosing between Koscielny, Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker is one of his most difficult decisions.

He said: "Laurent Koscielny had a great game and stepped in very well. We have three classy centre-backs. It's a very difficult choice, no matter who is left out they can feel it's not right but I will rotate them and choose depending on the strikers we play against."

Another man keen to take his chance was goalkeeper Vito Mannone, who again replaced the injured Wojciech Szczesny.

The Italian was partially at fault for Lescott's goal as he came out to claim David Silva's corner and got nowhere near it, but he also made good saves from Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Vincent Kompany.

Wenger said: "Mannone had a good game again, he was very solid. He made a little mistake from the corner and was very frustrated with it but overall I'm happy that it didn't affect his game afterwards. He looks very solid, I like what he's doing."

Mannone was also content with the way he responded to his mistake, telling "I was not happy with the goal obviously but I came back stronger with some saves.

"The team performed really well and everyone gave everything to come back and get a point. Every save that can help the team, I am really happy with."


A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home