Arsene Wenger pleased with positive response as Gunners beat AC Milan

This was an extremely important fixture for both sides', however the North Londoners produced an excellent away performance.

Arsene Wenger was pleased with Arsenal's professional and improved performance after they defeated AC Milan 2-0 on Thursday night in their Europa League last 16 first leg.

A positive team performance 

Arsenal had been widely criticised for their form heading into the match, and the manager was pleased with how his team completed their first victory in five matches.

“Overall, at some stage you need to respond and to respond together with a good performance. That's what we did tonight,” the Frenchman said in a post match interview.

“In one week, you do not become a bad team or a bad player. Nothing is permanent in life. What is happening in life is just how much you want to influence things and that's what we tried to do.”

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Wenger highlighted what he believe his team needed to do to gain a positive result, such as ‘playing quicker’ and ‘being more practical and pragmatic’, and they certainly achieved those goals at San Siro.

Despite the positive performance as well as the result, the Arsenal boss refused to overreact.

“Look, we have won a game. We are not qualified. The result will mean it will lift again, little bit, the belief in the team again because when you lose three games in six days it is always very difficult.

“But we want to keep our focus and finish the job next week. That's what is the target."

 

Belief remains despite tough spell

It had become clear that the poor start to 2018 had knocked the confidence of the Arsenal squad, but Wenger hopes that Thursday’s result proved to their critics that they still have what it takes to compete on big occasions.

“That's what we want to show, that we have the mental resources and qualities. I spoke about the cup final but people forget that to get to a cup final in England, you need qualities and you need mental resources and you need mental qualities.

“We lost against a team that is dominating English football at the moment and it was unexplainable and we have to accept that.

“That doesn't mean that a team has no spirit. You have to show that until the end of the season."