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Mertesacker: We can compete

Per Mertesacker believes Arsenal have shown that they can handle the pressure of being Premier League title contenders.

Last Updated: 15/01/14 at 12:14 Post Comment

Per Mertesacker: Arsenal have shown that they can grind out results

Per Mertesacker: Arsenal have shown that they can grind out results

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The Gunners were forced to watch on over the weekend as their nearest challengers - Manchester City and Chelsea - both won and took turns to occupy top spot in the standings.

It was, however, to be Arsene Wenger's men who ended the latest round of fixtures at the summit, with a 2-1 win away at Aston Villa preserving their one-point advantage.

Mertesacker feels a dogged display in the Midlands proves that Arsenal are ready to compete for top honours and offers the perfect response to those questioning the Gunners' resilience.

The German centre-half said in The Sun: "We look at ourselves and think we are good enough to respond to any challenge others give us.

"It is always harder to play on a Monday night, especially as all the teams at the top also won.

"No-one dropped any points at all, so there was a bit of added pressure. The team could definitely feel it, but we responded.

"Away from home, people may have been expecting us to drop points but we just kept going.

"We went back to the top of the league. And that was important, because it let the other teams see that Arsenal are still alive and able to respond to anything.

"They gave us a big task by winning but we also gave them a good idea of what this Arsenal team is about."

Mertesacker added: "Against Aston Villa, we showed the other teams that we can feel the pressure but still win.

"It's really tight at the top at the moment, so there is no chance to drop any points. We showed them all how resilient we are now.

"We are really happy with our fighting performance, especially in the second half."

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Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
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ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

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