• Premier League

Flamini: We must prove we're a big team

ESPN staff
March 26, 2014
The end near for Wenger?

Mathieu Flamini has urged Arsenal to prove they 'are still one of the big teams in the Premier League' when they take on title favourites Manchester City.

His team looked set to secure a morale boosting wins against Swansea on Tuesday, as they aimed to bounce back from their 6-0 defeat against Chelsea last weekend, but the Frenchman's unfortunate late own goal saw two more points slip away.

"That's going to be a big one [against City]," Flamini told Arsenal Player following severe criticism of their performance. "We want to do well, especially after the big loss against Chelsea. We want to prove that we're one of the big teams in the Premier League."

Flamini gave his version of events as a catalogue of defensive errors ended with him diverting the ball past his own keeper Wojciech Szczesny to deny his team two crucial points against a relegation-haunted side.

"I was coming back and I think the keeper kicked the ball onto my leg and it was an own goal," he said. "Of course it's very disappointing because it was a difficult game. We conceded an early goal, we didn't play a great first half but we were trying, trying, trying.

"We played a great second half because we came back winning 2-1 until the end and then we were unlucky on the second goal.

"We wanted to come back for the fans, especially because they have been behind us since the beginning of the season and especially after the 6-0 defeat against Chelsea. We wanted to react to give them a positive game but unfortunately we conceded at the end."

Arsenal will need to improve a woeful record against the Premier League's top three this season if they are to avoid another setback against City.

Their five games against Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea have so far produced just one victory, with 17 goals conceded in five matches against their title rivals to date.

Intriguingly, half of the goals Arsenal have conceded in the entire Premier League season have come against the new 'big three' in the division, which highlights their frailties in big matches.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close