Mertesacker demands response

Per Mertesacker has urged Arsenal to bounce back from their mauling at Anfield when they take on Manchester United on Wednesday night.

The Germany defender is determined to produce an immediate response to the 5-1 thrashing at Liverpool which resulted in the Gunners being knocked off the top of the Premier League by Chelsea.

Mertesacker has called for a similar response to Arsenal's 6-3 defeat to Manchester City in December, winning eight of their next 10 matches in all competitions before their capitulation at Anfield at the weekend.

"We feel very bad, disappointed with our performance right from the start. To be honest, it is one of the worst setbacks of this season," Mertesacker told Arsenal Player.

"It was just not good enough to compete at that level.

"We have the opportunity to respond quickly on Wednesday and we have to remind ourselves what we have done from Manchester City until now.

"That is at stake, and to show that responsibility for ourselves and for the pride of our club."

Mertesacker also called for the Gunners fans to get behind their team, with Liverpool visiting The Emirates for their FA Cup fifth-round tie on Saturday before Arsenal host Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

"We have huge games coming up but we can rely on our fans that they will push us again," he said.

"I think the team will give something back in the next couple of weeks."

Gunners boss Wenger believes his wounded squad can restore some pride against United, adding: "I am confident we will respond in a positive matter on Wednesday night.

"I think it is a shame that we couldn't turn up with a better performance.

"After 10 minutes we conceded two goals on set-pieces, that just shows that the level of concentration was not there and that when nobody takes responsibility in these kind of situations it is always a bad sign.

"It is about how well we do at home at the Emirates, of course starting on Wednesday.

"Recently we have been very good defensively at home and offensively as well, that is what we want to show on Wednesday night."