By Richard Clarke
Cesc Fabregas feels Arsenal have already won the respect of
their title rivals - but winning the title itself will take a lot
more than that.
Arsène Wenger's side snatched a dramatic draw in injury time against Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on Saturday. Seven days earlier they had come from behind to take a point at Liverpool. Before those games Arsenal were said to be "untested" against top opposition. A glance at the Premier League table today sees Wenger's men top with a game in hand on the top four and having played six of the leading seven sides.
"I think people respect us a lot," said Fabregas. "They see we play good football, we attack, we defend and we are together as a team. You can feel that as well when you play against the big teams they respect you.
"This is good because last year teams came here [to Emirates Stadium] and really thought they could beat us. This year it's not the same.
"The title race is still very far, but this point [against
Manchester United] is good. Losing the game would have left them
three points in front. So to stay top with an extra game is very
"But now we have to beat all of the teams that come here and also [do well] away from home. When you go to places like Liverpool, Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford you have to try to win those games as well."
The Spaniard now feels two key factors will determine how close Arsenal can go to regaining the title they last won in 2004.
"We have to believe, of course," said the 20-year-old. "Belief is the most important thing in football. If you don't believe then you have no chance.
"Consistency is very important too. You don't win the title just by results against the big teams like this. We have to beat the lesser sides but if we can get results against the top teams then it really helps us in the title race."Copyright 2013 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 5 Nov 2007