Per Mertesacker: What Arsenal must focus on after Barcelona loss

Per Mertesacker tells Arsenal to concentrate on the Premier League title race following 2-0 loss to Barcelona

Per Mertesacker has urged his Arsenal team-mates to switch their focus to the Premier League after Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss to Barcelona.

The Gunners managed to tame Barcelona’s front three of Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez in the first half despite Barcelona enjoying 71 per cent of the possession.

We are always fighting that’s out spirit and we will keep going like that

Per Mertesacker

However, the Ballon d’Or winner broke the deadlock in the 71st minute when Messi finished off an impressive counter-attack move which involved Neymar and Suarez.

The Argentina international put Barcelona in firm control of the tie 12 minutes later when he scored from the penalty spot after Mathieu Flamini’s foul on the forward.

However, the Arsenal captain told his Gunners team-mates to turn their thoughts to the Premier League for the next few weeks ahead of Sunday’s trip to bitter rivals Manchester United.

“We have to concentrate on the Premier League now,” Mertesacker told BT Sport.

“In one month we face Barcelona again with the same courage and the same bravery.

“We don’t give up. We still have a little chance.

“As a team, we are always fighting that’s out spirit and we will keep going like that.”

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Arsenal are in third place in the Premier League but only two points behind surprise leaders Leicester City in the race for the title.

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