Wenger calls for swift response to drubbing

Arsene Wenger has urged Arsenal to show character by responding to their 5-1 thrashing at Liverpool on Saturday.

The London club headed into this weekend top of the Premier League, but suffered a sensational defeat at Anfield as a rampant Liverpool scored four goals inside the opening 20 minutes.

Martin Skrtel was the unlikely scorer of Liverpool's first two, while Raheem Sterling also finished the day with a brace and Daniel Sturridge scored for the seventh successive game.

After a defeat that raises questions over Arsenal's title credentials, Wenger's men now face the challenge of bouncing back when defending champions Manchester United visit the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday before facing Liverpool again in the FA Cup next Sunday. 

"What is important is that we respond to that result, and especially that we respond with a different performance because our performance was poor," conceded Wenger.

"The whole team failed to turn up with the right performance.

"It's not about what people say; it's how we respond that matters. I can completely understand that people will, of course, raise questions, but the only way to answer that is on Wednesday night.

"It's always what you make of defeats that decides your future and we have a lot of answers to find."

Wenger acknowledged his side fully deserved to lose for the first time in 2014, adding: "Congratulations to Liverpool - they were the better team and we were very poor.

"We conceded two early goals on set-pieces and then you're in a position when you've always (got) to come out.

"Only our fans were good for 90 minutes, that's all.

"We are, of course, very disappointed, but as well (we will) not lose our confidence and our belief that we can still do it (win the league)."