Belfast Telegraph

Gunners must bounce back - Djourou

Johan Djourou has warned Arsenal they must "show up" when Chelsea come to Emirates Stadium on Saturday to avoid a second successive home defeat.

The Gunners had won nine of their last 10 Barclays Premier League games before the visit of relegation-battlers Wigan on Monday. But Arsene Wenger's men were caught out by two early goals as the Latics capitalised on some poor defending to record a famous 2-1 win which lifted them clear of the dropzone.

The Swiss defender told Arsenal Player: "Technically we were not good against Wigan and were missing sharpness in our passes. It is difficult to win games when you are like that. Maybe it was a bit of fatigue, but we all know Saturday is very important and we have to show up for this one."

Arsenal are five points ahead of fourth-placed Tottenham and Newcastle, and some seven in front of the Blues, albeit having now played a match more.

Djourou accepts another lacklustre display this weekend could once again leave the Gunners taking an anxious glance over their shoulders in the race to secure Champions League qualification.

He said: "We would rather be in this situation than where the others are. The most important thing is to come back stronger, and what better chance to do it than against Chelsea?"

The Blues head across London in the middle of something of a tough schedule, with the small matter of a Champions League semi-final against Barcelona to contend with.

Djourou, however, does not expect European ambitions to deflect any of the focus from the FA Cup finalists.

"Chelsea still want to have Champions League football next season as well so we know it is going to be a tough game," the 25-year-old said.

"Obviously they have a lot of fixtures, the two Barcelona games is maybe a plus for us, but we don't really concentrate on that. We have to be focused on our game and be focused on what we do best."


From Belfast Telegraph