Saturday, 3 October 2015

Arsenal look for aggression against Manchester United

Per Mertesacker has challenged Arsenal to show more aggression as they look to recover from their latest European flop in Sunday’s showdown with Premier League leaders Manchester United.

Arsene Wenger’s side suffered an embarrassing 3-2 home defeat against Olympiakos in midweek that left them in severe danger of missing out on a place in the Champions League knock-out stages for the first time in 16 years.

Adding to the Gunners’ humiliation was the horrendous blunder from goalkeeper David Ospina, who dropped a corner into his own net to gift the Greeks their second goal and in the process triggered a barrage of criticism of Wenger for his decision to rest regular first choice Petr Cech.

But Arsenal defender Mertesacker offered no excuses for his team’s second successive European loss and admitted they must rediscover their fighting spirit to avoid another damaging defeat against in-form United.

“At home we should be much more aggressive from the start and be more dynamic. That is what our game is all about,” Mertesacker said.

“When we play like we did (on Tuesday), with that lack of concentration and discipline, then we have got no chance.

“I think everyone will have regrets. It will take a couple of days to recover and to think about Manchester United, which will be a good opportunity to play our style of football again.”

While Wenger is certain to restore Cech to his starting line-up if he is fully fit, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has to decide whether to make changes four days after a 2-1 Champions League victory over Wolfsburg.

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