Arsenal, Chelsea, Clubs, English Premier League, Story

Arsene Wenger praised Arsenal’s second-half performance and spoke about the delay caused by travelling Cologne fans.
Steve Nicol and Shaka Hislop question how much Arsenal’s win over Cologne will help them heading into their clash against Chelsea.

LONDON — Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged his players to forget about the club’s struggles at Stamford Bridge and instead focus on their recent successes against Chelsea.

The Premier League champions host Arsenal on Sunday, with the Gunners having failed to win at Stamford Bridge since a 5-3 victory in 2011.

That run has included a 6-0 demolition in 2014 and a 3-1 loss last season, but Arsenal beat Chelsea at 3-0 at home a year ago and also defeated them in both the FA Cup final and the Community Shield.

Wenger said: “In recent years, Chelsea had great teams always, and it was always difficult to win there.

“But our record against Chelsea recently has been good. We won last year here [at the Emirates], we won in the FA Cup final, we won on penalties in the Charity Shield.

“So let’s just continue to focus on the quality of our game, and not so much where we play.”

Arsenal have had two days fewer to prepare for the game than Chelsea, who brushed aside Qarabag in the Champions League on Tuesday, while the Gunners beat Cologne 3-1 in the Europa League on Thursday.

Arsenal’s game was delayed by an hour because of crowd disturbances outside the stadium, but Wenger rested most of his regular starters and said his team had enough time to prepare.

“I believe in three days we can recover, and overall that should not be a problem,” he added. “It doesn’t bother me.

“What is a problem for us is to focus on our performance and play our game.”

Wenger is likely to stick with a back three at Stamford Bridge even though he reverted to a back four at half-time against Cologne.

Arsenal came back from a goal down after the break, but Wenger said: “I want to use both systems, when it suits the team or when we are in need to do it.

“Because we played for a long time in a back four, it’s easy for me to switch from a back three to a back four.”

Mattias is ESPN FC’s Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.

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