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Wenger marks 21 years at Arsenal with win over Brighton

Arsene Wenger took over in north London in 1996 after coaching in Japan.
Arsene Wenger took over in north London in 1996 after coaching in Japan. Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Arsene Wenger celebrated the 21st anniversary of his appointment at Arsenal by steering his side to a 2-0 victory over Brighton on Sunday at the Emirates. The 67-year-old Frenchman took control at the north London giants in 1996 following a two year stint at Nagoya Grampus in Japan.

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He has led the Gunners to three league titles as well as seven FA Cups and seven Community Shields.

Wenger said on Sunday humility was the biggest lesson he had learnt over the decades.

"We got the clean sheet, we got the three points," he told BT Sport. "Offensively we were in a bit of a doubt, the fluency was sometimes there, sometimes not.

"In the end for us it was a very testing win. For us it was a very testing week, we had two home games, one long away trip in the Europa League. We won the three games and that's very positive."

Nacho Monreal's 16th-minute goal gave Arsenal the lead at the Emirates. Alex Iwobi added the second in the second-half. It was Arsenal’s sixth win from their last seven matches in all competitions and they rise to fifth in the Premier League with 13 points.

Wenger's early years at Arsenal produced three Premier League titles but the Gunners have not been champions of England since 2004. This has led to calls from many Arsenal fans for Wenger to quit.

Those demands intensified last summer when Arsenal - despite winning the FA Cup final against Chelsea - finished outside the Premier League positions for the 2017/2018 Uefa Champions League.

However Stan Kroenke, Arsenal’s main powerbroker, has backed the veteran manager’s position releasing funds for major signings such as Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon.

"We lost 4-0 at Liverpool and the team was really poor,” said Monreal whose strike against Brighton was his first goal since 2013. “After the Liverpool match we talked because we can't play as we did against Liverpool. From there, the team reacted, we are playing more compact."

Brighton remain 14th with seven points following their fourth defeat in seven games. "It was a spirited performance,” said manager Chris Hughton. “I can't accuse the lads of not giving everything. It is always going to be difficult away at Arsenal. High levels of concentration have to be there for 90 minutes."

 

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