Arsenal will become hungrier than ever for the Premier League title after beating Manchester United, according to manager Arsene Wenger.
A storming first-half performance saw Arsenal score three times in the first 20 minutes against Louis van Gaal’s side to record a 3-0 victory prior to the international break.
The result moved Arsenal to within two points of league leaders Manchester City and Wenger has challenged his side to continue to show a fighting spirit as they aim to win their first title since 2004.
“I think the Man United game can increase the belief and hunger of the players,” he said on Thursday.
“The top eight can compete for the Premier League. It is difficult to rule anybody out.
“You can compete for the championship if you turn up and fight for every game. We need to show the same quality.”
Wenger has also called on Mesut Ozil to repeat the form he showed against United against the other top sides in the division this season, adding: “What you want from Mesut is to score in the big games. He did against Manchester United.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s encounter with Watford, Wenger confirmed some of Arsenal’s international stars will face fitness checks when they return to north London but he expects both Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta to be fit.
“Jack Wilshere is still at least one month away. Danny Welbeck, earliest, beginning of January,” he said on his side’s injuries.
“[Laurent] Koscielny will have a fitness test. Arteta and Flamini should be available.
“Some players land at 2pm today so we have to check if we have no bad surprises.”