Arsene Wenger wants Arsenal to put their “nightmare” defeat to West Brom behind them once and for all when they take on Norwich City at Carrow Road on Sunday.
The Gunners slipped two points adrift of Premier League leaders Leicester City as a result of the 2-1 loss in which Santi Cazorla missed a penalty and Mikel Arteta scored an own goal.
Wenger believes “everything went against” his side on the day against Tony Pulis’s men but was happy with the response shown in the 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in Tuesday’s Champions league clash.
And the 66-year-old is now looking for a similar performance against a Norwich team he has beaten seven times in nine top-flight games, telling a media conference: “It was a bad result – but on the day everything went against us.
“They had one shot on target and scored two goals – that will not always happen.
“On top of that we missed a penalty and scored an own goal, so we had a nightmare. It was an unlucky day, that can happen in a season but after it is how you respond to that and we did that well on Tuesday.”
Last week’s narrow defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge left Norwich just three points above the relegation zone after 13 matches, but manager Alex Neil is nonetheless relishing the challenge of taking on Arsenal and opposite number Wenger.
“I would like to think I could manage at 66. It is a long time, I might not be alive, never mind managing,” the Scot said.
“It is not even the longevity that I admire. It’s the way his teams play. The way they play is fantastic to watch as a football fan. You want to see teams be expressive and expansive and open the game up to entertain. I don’t think there is any better than Arsenal.
“In terms of his style and how he does things he is very up-to-date. It is a tough task for us but one I am looking forward to and so are the players.”
Arsenal head to Norwich with a lengthy injury list, having lost Francis Coquelin to a knee injury and Arteta to a calf problem in that defeat to West Brom. Theo Walcott (calf), Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rocisky (both knee) and Jack Wilshere (leg) all remain out.
Alexis Sanchez suffered a hamstring scare in the win over Dinamo Zagreb but the Chile star is likely to be involved, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is available after returning to action as a substitute in midweek.
Neil has stated that Alex Tettey (thigh) is unlikely to be fit to play but Norwich will have captain Russell Martin back in the squad after he missed the Chelsea game due to personal reasons. Kyle Lafferty, who scored for the Under-21 side this week, is also expected to be fit.
Key Opta Stats:
– Aaron Ramsey has scored in each of his last two appearances against the Canaries in the Premier League.
– Mesut Ozil has provided an assist in seven consecutive Premier League appearances, a longer consecutive run than any other player in the history of the competition.
– Ozil now has 11 assists in the Premier League this season, five more than any other player, while no player in the history of the competition can equal that haul after a team’s opening 13 games.
– Arsenal have won 10 and lost just two of their last 13 Premier League away games.
– The Canaries have won just one of their last eight Premier League games (W1 D2 L5).
– Norwich have managed just one clean sheet in the Premier League this season, a joint-low total (along with Bournemouth).