London (AFP) – Arsene Wenger said “humility” was the biggest lesson he had learnt as Arsenal marked the 21st anniversary of his appointment with a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday.
Nacho Monreal’s 16th-minute goal gave Arsenal the lead at the Emirates before Alex Iwobi’s second-half strike secured all three points for the Gunners
Arsenal’s sixth win from their last seven matches in all competitions saw them close to within six points of league leaders Manchester City heading into the international break, and meant Wenger marked his landmark match with a new record.
Brighton are the 45th different Premier League club to be defeated by Arsenal since Wenger arrived at the north London club in 1996, breaking the mark he’d shared with former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson.
This result also gave Arsenal their third win in six days, following Monday’s success against West Bromwich Albion and a Europa League victory away to BATE Borisov on Thursday.
Wenger made nine changes to the side that won in Barysaw and, while concerned by some aspects of his team’s play, was happy with the end result at the Emirates Stadium.
– ‘Testing week’ –
“We got the clean sheet, we got the three points,” he told BT Sport. “Offensively we were in a bit of a doubt, the fluency was sometimes there, sometimes not.
“In the end for us it was a very testing win. For us it was a very testing week, we had two home games, one long away trip in the Europa League. We won the three games and that’s very positive.”
Wenger’s early years at the helm of Arsenal yielded three Premier League titles but the Gunners have not been crowned champions of England since 2004.
This has led to renewed questioning by some Arsenal fans as to whether Wenger should continue at the helm, especially as the Gunners have dropped out of the Champions League this season.
Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke, however, has been rock-solid in his support of the veteran French boss.
Asked what was the one thing above all other that he had learnt from his time at Arsenal, Wenger replied: “I would say humility.”
This result meant Arsenal have not conceded a goal in four successive Premier League matches following a humiliating 4-0 defeat by Liverpool on August 27.
Since then, the Gunners have won three and held champions Chelsea, one of their London rivals, to a goalless draw.
“After Liverpool we talked because we can’t play as we did against Liverpool. We lost 4-0, and the team was really poor,” said Monreal, whose goal was his first since 2013. “From there, the team reacted, we are playing more compact.”
Meanwhile Brighton manager Chris Hughton added: “It was a spirited performance. I can’t accuse the lads of not giving everything. It is always going to be difficult here, levels of concentration have to be for 90 minutes.”
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