By Giuseppe Muro

Taking the lead in games against Arsenal’s title rivals is vital according to their manager.

Arsène Wenger says he is not against adopting a defensive approach in ‘big’ games because whoever scores the first goal will usually go on to win the match.

The Gunners created numerous chances against Chelsea but were eventually undone by goals from Didier Drogba and Alex earlier in the month, though Wenger insists his side will continue to employ their expansive style ahead of the trip to face Manchester City on Sunday.

“I’m not against defending. Most of the big games are not decided by defending, they are decided most of the time by the first goal,” said the Frenchman speaking at the Club’s AGM on Thursday.

“At the top level the team that scores first will win 62 per cent of the time. 70 per cent of the time the first goal scored guarantees you a draw. That means 79 per cent of the time when you score first you will not lose in a ‘big’ game.

“When you concede the first goal what happens sometimes is you have to chase the game. I believe you can’t survive a long time with a negative philosophy and when you’re a big club your basic principles have to be wanting to win and to win with style.

“We want to defend well and we want of course to respect our principles and we want to be very efficient. We want to have an attacking philosophy but we want to win with it.”

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21 Oct 2010