Per Mertesacker says Saturday’s defeat to Liverpool has given the team a sharp wake-up call - and will prompt an immediate reaction.

The Gunners found themselves 4-0 down after 20 minutes at Anfield and despite an improved second-half showing, they eventually lost 5-1.

While Mertesacker was concerned with the result, he believes Arsenal will respond quickly against Manchester United on Wednesday.

At the start we were eight points clear of Liverpool so we should have been more confident and more aware of the situation but that wasn't the case

Per Mertesacker

“To be honest, it's one of the worst setbacks of this season,” the defender told Arsenal Player. “We feel very bad at the moment, disappointed with our performance right from the start.

“It was just not good enough to compete at that level. Liverpool seemed full of confidence. At the start we were eight points clear of Liverpool so we should have been more confident and more aware of the situation but that wasn't the case.

“We have the opportunity to respond quickly on Wednesday and we have to remind ourselves what we have done from Man City until now. That is at stake and to show that responsibility for ourselves and for the pride of our club.

“We have huge games coming up but we can rely on our fans that they will push us again. I think the team will give something back in the next couple of weeks.”

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 10 Feb 2014