Wenger on victory, Alexis and Walcott

Arsène Wenger spoke to the media after his side's 3-0 victory over Manchester United.

Here's a transcript of what the Arsenal manager said:

on a good end to a difficult week…We won our last Premier League game 5-2 and we won here 3-0 so in the Premier League we have scored eight goals in two games against two difficult opponents. Overall it was a convincing performance. It was a strong response against Manchester United following our disappointment on Tuesday night. It shows the group is very united and very strong as well and from goalkeeper to No 9 everybody played very well, which is what you want.

on the performances today…Everybody was very good today. Alexis was very efficient on top of that.

on Tuesday’s response…That is what you want in games of that stature. I believe in the [first half] we started very strong and decided to press very high and play with great pace, and we did that very well. After in the second half we decided to be disciplined, control the result and we did that very well. We had two aspects in our game that was pleasing and we were convincing today. It gives us a strong answer to all the questions raised in the week.

on not beating Manchester United in the Premier League for a while…We won last year in a very important FA Cup game at Old Trafford, so we won last year. For us it was a massive game when we were in the FA Cup. It is true that they won here last year and it is true as well that for a few years in the Premier League we did not win against them but it just shows if you turn up with the right performance you win.

on Arsenal’s response…I’ve been at the club for 19 years and I know what you want is a strong response in a big game when you have a big disapointment. But we [took it in] perspective and focused on what it is important. It’s us and not too much what was said and we focused on what is important in the game and that is part of being at the top level. The pressure on any disappointment today is massive and it’s maybe a little bit more difficult to deal with it but we did well.

on Walcott…I must say Walcott had a hugely committed performance today in a hugely convincing way. He didn’t score but I like to praise the strikers when they don’t score and contribute and give assists. He was involved in two goals – Ozil's and Alexis’ [second] one. He did really fight today and showed he can fight, commit and protect the ball as well. He is gaining some aspects of his game as a centre forward and they are improving.

on if that was Walcott’s best performance for the club…In this position, certainly. The day he was injured here he had a great game against Tottenham and I would put that up there.

on if Walcott as a No 9 convinces…Yes, I was always. You were not convinced. When a guy plays well it is always easy to find people who were convinced.

on Alexis…He has a little groin problem. Unfortunately he goes to Chile. You cannot stop him from going to Chile and he loves so much to play for his country and he will play against Brazil [on Friday] and Peru [next] Tuesday so the game at home against Brazil he will not want to miss. Hopefully he will come back in good shape.

on Brendan Rodgers being sacked…I’m always sad when that happens as I think he is a quality manager. Unfortunately the pressure is always bigger on the managers. I think what he has done at Liverpool, he was very unlucky to not win the Premier League. He was closest certainly to winning the Premier League in all the managers that have been working for the club but that is the way it goes now and I wish him good luck. I’m sure he will find a job again.

on Bellerin…He has improved defensively and I think his defensive performance was average against Olympiacos, like most of our players on Tuesday night. On that front we responded very well and he was part of that. He is very good in transition from defence to attack but even in the air he was good today and he won some surprising headers. He is 20 years old and when you look at what he is doing already I think he has a great future.

on maintaining the form…My plan is to pray now that everyone comes back from international games without any injury because we have a small group. We play at Watford straight away and on Tuesday night here against Bayern Munich. We will need the same kind of performance.

on making a statement in the title race…To win in a big game is always a statement. We are in in it, we are two points off the league leaders, Manchester City, so I hope that result today will give us belief to fight for it.

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