Arsène Wenger says Arsenal will go into Saturday’s game at Manchester City on “full cylinders’ after learning some important lessons.

The Gunners were beaten 1-0 at Manchester United last month after a slow first-half performance cost them dearly.

Wenger says his side will not make the same mistake at Etihad Stadium, and are eager to take their “opportunity” in the day’s early kick-off.

We have an opportunity to go from five to to eight [points clear] and that's fantastic. We have to look at it like that

Arsène Wenger

“What we can learn from Old Trafford is that it took us one half to be completely ourselves,” the boss said. “I think we have learned from that and we will go into the game [at City] on full cylinders.

“I believe first of all that you need a strong defensive performance and maybe the best way to do that is to attack and [keep] the ball and not let them find their flow.

“We have an opportunity to make the difference with everybody else [on Saturday] morning, as we play first. We have an opportunity to go from five to to eight [points clear] and that's fantastic. We have to look at it like that.”

Wenger admits victory at the Etihad could have far-reaching consequences for his team, but says defeat would be more damaging for the hosts.

“Of course [a win would] strengthen your belief, but I am convinced we believe in ourselves anyway, no matter what happens,” he said.

“Let's not forget as well that if you are in City's position and they lose, then they’re nine points behind, so they have more negative pressure than we have.

“We have a positive pressure that we can make a big difference with them, so let's look at it like that.”

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 13 Dec 2013