By Richard Clarke
 
You could argue that Arsenal's Achilles' heel this season has been the major confrontations with direct title rivals.

That's why the four-game run they begin on Wednesday may well define their campaign.

Arsène Wenger's side are handily placed in second, just two points off the leaders with a game in hand. However there could be daylight between themselves and the chasers had they not been beaten by Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea earlier in the campaign.

The game that broke the bogey came at Anfield on December 13. Liverpool are having a relatively poor season but they still looked too good for Arsenal in the first half.

Wenger argues Arsenal's two goals after the break changed their season.

"It was massive," admitted the manager. "Before Liverpool, we had not won big games. We didn't win against Chelsea, Manchester City or Manchester United.

"Even if we felt we should have won, we didn't and it was in the head of the players. But we did it at Liverpool then we beat Villa and we overcame something in our head.

"The Liverpool game was also a turning point because we were 1-0 down, turned the game and we have done it since many times.

"We even did it again at Stoke at the weekend. We came back from 1-0 down to 1-1. Afterwards we lost the game but we showed the potential to come back.

"I feel it shows immense mental strength to come back in these sorts of games."

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 27 Jan 2010