Per Mertesacker believes that Arsenal need to replicate their performance in the reverse fixture at the Emirates stadium to do a double over Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Gunners came out hard in the opening 20 minutes at the Emirates, with Alexis Sanchez scoring a brace and Mesut Ozil shooting one to take a 3-0 lead in the opening few minutes, a scoreline which they defended till the end of the 90 minutes.
The Gunners pressed high up the pitch and won balls in the opposition half, something which pegged United deep and led them to make mistakes at the back. The German does not expect the game to follow the same pattern as in north London but expects the players to put in the same effort, which should be enough to get one over their more decorated rivals.
The Gunners have not done the league double over United in almost a decade and should they manage to come good in this fixture it will go a long way in determining their future in the title race. Laurent Koscielny was absent for the reverse fixture with an injury but the Frenchman is likely to be given the nod over Gabriel, who is back training with the first team.
"I think we came out really strong, trusted in ourselves, nicked balls from them in their final third and then broke them down," Mertesacker told Arsenal's official website.
"It was remarkable how we played and how we reacted. We were really active from the start, pressed them high and tried to get the ball as quickly as possible. It completely worked out. It will be a different game this time but I want to see the same effort from our side.
"That was our plan, to get the ball early, so the distance between where we got the ball and the goal was short. We are dangerous when we win the ball early. I think that's something we need to emphasise.
"I would say we are more comfortable going there, or away from home in general, and performing well and to our best [than before]. We need a good performance in Manchester, there's no doubt about it," he added.