Football: Arsenal keen to learn from European setback

Football: Arsenal keen to learn from European setback
Arsenal's Per Mertesacker (R) and Jack Wilshere attend a team training session at their training ground.

LONDON - Per Mertesacker has warned Arsenal must learn from their midweek Champions League setback if the Premier League leaders are to sustain their impressive start to the domestic campaign.

The Gunners travel across London to face struggling Crystal Palace on Saturday after Robert Lewandowski’s late winner secured Borussia Dortmund’s 2-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium.

With second-bottom Palace without a manager following the departure of Ian Holloway, the odds are stacked heavily on Arsene Wenger’s side securing the win that will guarantee they maintain their place at the top of the table.

Arsenal will be hoping to reproduce some of the thrilling forward play that illuminated their 4-1 home victory over Norwich City last weekend.

But centre-back Mertesacker believes there is plenty of room for improvement.

The Germany international said: “We know we are on a good run, but we know it needs more than just playing with full freedom and vision.

“We need to defend first and then we can switch the rest on. You have seen what can happen after that.”

Arsenal’s strength so far this season has been the form of their midfield playmakers following the arrival of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid.

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