Arsène Wenger has stressed the importance of keeping calm and retaining some perspective in the wake of a disappointing defeat.

The Gunners were knocked off top spot in the Premier League on Saturday after they were beaten 5-1 by Liverpool at Anfield.

While Wenger admits it is natural to consider widespread changes after such a result, his side’s previous form shows the benefits of keeping faith in his players.

If there is a continuity of a bad patch you have to change things, but if it is just one game, most of the time you give the players a chance to [put things right]

Arsène Wenger

“Every defeat creates a difficult moment, [but] it could have been worse,” the manager said. “After Aston Villa, nobody would have put us in the position we are in today. So we have to believe that not everything is perfect - because no, it is not. But we also have to put everything into perspective.

“After a big disappointment like that you always sit there, thinking, ‘Do I make five or six changes or do I give them a chance to show it was just an accident?’ And most of the time you give the players a chance, especially if they have done well before.

“If there is a continuity of a bad patch you have to change things, but if it is just one game, most of the time you give the players a chance to [put things right].”

Arsenal face Manchester United on Wednesday night, and Wenger feels a big game is the best thing for his side following their defeat at Anfield.

“It is a good opportunity to respond straight away and that is what we want to do,” he said. “I can talk and talk and talk, [but] it is action that will decide that.

“This group, you would never question their professionalism. Maybe they wanted to do so well [against Liverpool] that they were a bit too cautious, I don’t know.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 11 Feb 2014