On the emphatic performance…
“We have been waiting for goals for a long time and I believe that maybe the pressure came off the team a bit after the Roma game so we played with more freedom. I believe we have more creative talent and the game is more fluid. Our football is coming back which I think is down to psychological reasons.

“The team were always highly focused and they always want to do well. We are on a long and consistent run now and that’s why I believe we can go from strength to strength from now until the end of the season.”

On Andrey Arshavin’s contribution…

“He has intelligence, vision and talent to pass one against one. His second goal was an example of that.  I changed him at half time and put him on the left but he can play right, central or left. You ask any good football player where he wants to play he will say central.

“He had four stitches in his foot at half time, it is cut along the outside completely and the doctor had to make four stitches at the break. We delayed kick off a bit because of that.“

On taking momentum from Wednesday’s Roma match…
“If we had gone out in midweek, would we have gone out and produced the performance today? I don’t know because the win lifts the spirit. You can see signs of our game coming back against Burnley and we scored three at West Brom then four today. It looks like it is not a problem anymore and we play with more freedom.”

On Liverpool’s early victory opening up the title again…
“It is [open] yes. I think Man United have played many games since January and today they looked a little bit jaded. You could see that Liverpool didn’t play in the FA Cup last week and they had a good opportunity to refresh before playing Real Madrid and Man United. Plus they had one more day than Man United did. You could see when the experienced United players make mistakes it is down to fatigue.”

On the chances of Arsenal finishing in the top three…

“We know that every game is a challenge. Before we start to dream we play every three days and we can rotate a bit at the moment. We have a challenge in every single game from now until the end of the season and we cannot drop off one or two per cent in our performances. I feel in the dressing room that the team are really up for it.”

On challenging on three fronts for the rest of the season…
“I just rotate a little bit. I know that the players can’t always play. For example I didn’t play Kolo in the cup game but he played on Wednesday and today. I decided to rest Gallas because we knew we would face a lot of high balls today.

“I put four fresh players in today and we have Eduardo injured but Fabregas and Adebayor coming back in two weeks. I rested Van Persie today as well. It looks today that we can do it.”

On the performance of Nicklas Bendtner

“I am pleased with his overall contribution. He didn’t finish well but he played well. I think after he missed the first chance he took too long on the second one. Then it becomes a problem for you. What is most important is that he creates the chances because once he scores one he will score three or four. He is always in the situation and his first touch was much better today and his movement was good. The rest will come along.

“He likes to play as the lead striker and he has power and pace. He understands the game and he’s only 20 years old, people forget that. I think it completely wrong to boo him. The fans clapped him when he moved off the pitch. They were not happy when he missed the chance but overall I feel the fans are behind him.”

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14 Mar 2009