Wenger: Draw at Manchester City should strengthen Arsenal belief

The Frenchman believes his side have the potential to challenge for the title but must improve, having missed chances and conceded the opening goal from a set-piece at the Etihad
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal’s display at Manchester City to claim a 1-1 draw demonstrates his side’s title credentials.

City had taken the lead against the run of play from a corner shortly before half-time, but the Gunners fought back and equalised through Laurent Koscielny and had further chances to record a win.

When asked about his side’s chances of winning the title, Wenger said Arsenal need to build on their potential and consistency in order to mount a challenge.

He told reporters: "What happened here should strengthen our belief.

"I hope the game reassured us about our potential in this league. It looks like it will be interesting. We believe it but it’s down to consistency.

"We have the potential and the attitude. Can we keep the focus and continue to improve? Time will tell but at the moment I am very happy with our spirit and that is a good basis.

"We are not the perfect team yet, we have room for improvement. If we focus on that, we have a chance."

The Gunners had opportunities to snatch a win, and Wenger acknowledged as such, commenting: “I am pleased as that is the minimum we deserved today.

"I’m pleased with the quality of our performance and spirit. I am frustrated as well because I feel there was room to do more."

Gervinho in particular had opportunities for the north London side, and his manager put his profligacy in front of goal down to a lack of composure.
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"He had maybe a good game when a striker misses chances, he couldn’t finish what he created but he was still a danger - he was a bit nervous with his finishing," concluded Wenger.

City's goal came from a set-piece after keeper Vito Mannone unsuccessfully tried to claim David Silva’s corner before Joleon Lescott beat his opponents to head in, defending which did not please the Arsenal manager

"I take this criticism on board as we conceded a goal from a corner. The goal we conceded today was avoidable," he added.

"But you have to give respect to City in their set pieces, they have good delivery with good tall players. City score more than anyone else from set-pieces.

"We believe in him [Mannone] and he shows that in the game. He is frustrated with the corner but that can happen and overall he had a very solid game."