Arsene Wenger marked his 21st year as Arsenal manager with a 2-0 win over Brighton Hove & Albion at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League.
Nacho Monreal opened the scoring in the 16th minute when he smashed home from close range following a series of blocked shots from the Gunners, then Alex Iwobi sealed the win with a powerful finish of Alexis Sanchez’ majestic back-heel.
“In this job you only look for the next game,” said Wenger after the match. “When you look back you see the distance you have made. Overall, football changed a lot in this 21 years.”
The Gunners, who played their seventh game in the last 21 days, climbed to fifth in the table, where they are six points below leaders Manchester City. Manchester United are tied with City on points but are behind in goals scored, while Tottenham are third with 14 points and Chelsea and the Gunners are tied with 13 apiece.
“We kept the clean sheet and of course got three points,” added Wenger. “We have played more fluent than today but playing Monday, Thursday and today, it was important to get three points. We eased off in concentration and decision-making and then it becomes a bit harder.”
Wenger began his career as Gunners boss when he left Nagoya Grampus Eight and joined Arsenal on October 1 1996, and have managed 1,186 matches since then.
He has led the North London club to 683 wins (for a winning percentage of 57.6%), and lifted three Premier League trophies, seven FA Cups, and seven Community Shields with the Gunners.
Wenger once reached the Champions League final in 2006, but Arsenal lost to Barcelona 1-2 at Stade de France.
LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE
Brighton boss Chris Hughton said his men should be proud after giving it all against a stronger side in front of a loud crowd.
“It was a spirited performance, I can’t accuse the lads of not giving everything,” said Hughton, whose men lost for the second time in three league fixtures. “It was always going to be difficult here, levels of concentration have to be for 90 minutes.”
“The only disappointment in the game is that we could have shown a little more on the ball and been a little more adventurous on the ball. You have to look at the positives.”