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 conceding 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 to comment on his side’s chances of winning the title, Wenger claimed his side needed to build on their potential.

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."

The 62-year-old maintained his attention on the team’s capacity to improve after the manner of the draw, in which his team shaded possession at the Etihad but still required an 82nd minute goal to avoid defeat.

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

The Gunners had the chances 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, having lost control of Santi Cazorla’s through-ball with a heavy touch in the first half, and firing well over in second-half stoppage time, having worked himself into space on the edge of the box.

"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.

The goal conceded also 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.

The Gunners have conceded just two goals as they remain unbeaten after five league games, but Wenger accepted the need to improve.

He commented: "I take this criticism on board as we conceded a goal from a corner. The goal we conceded today was avoidable.

"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."