By Chris Harris
Laurent Koscielny has challenged Arsenal to use their defensive performance in Marseille as a blueprint for the rest of the season.
The French centre back was outstanding in a compact display at the Stade Velodrome as Arsène Wenger’s side snatched a 1-0 victory through Aaron Ramsey's stoppage-time strike.
Marseille barely mustered a shot on goal in the second half as Koscielny and Per Mertesacker stood firm alongside Andre Santos, Carl Jenkinson and his replacement, Johan Djourou. But Arsenal's man of the match believes the whole team deserves credit for stifling their hosts.
“We played as a real unit," he said. "We did the job together and defended well as a team. To defend well, it’s not only down to the four defenders, it’s the whole team.
"We did it well on Wednesday night so I cannot see why we could not do it at every game. We have to convince ourselves that we can repeat this kind of defensive performance. We proved in Marseille that we can do it and our keeper didn’t really have any big saves to make.
"We knew that if we created spaces behind their defence we would have some good chances and we kept our belief until the end. We are top of the group now but there are still a few more games to be played for. But we are on a good run, we have built some momentum and we need to continue."
Koscielny's understanding with new signing Mertesacker was one of the features of Arsenal's performance on Wednesday night and the Frenchman expects his German team-mate to scale new heights in the weeks and months to come.
"Personally, things are getting better and better with Per," said Koscielny.
"He is a very experienced player, he is an international player, he knows what the very high level is about. We know that the English league is very different than the other European leagues and there is always time to adapt. Soon he will become a key player in this team."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 20 Oct 2011