Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger said that the club finishing inside the top 3 would signal progress and also believes that there is still a fierce rivalry between the two clubs.

In his press conference before the game at Old Trafford, Arsene said, “a Yes of course [I have seen enough to think we can challenge] but that’s what is at stake until the end of the season, to show that we can be stronger next year. We feel we have made progress, but we have a good opportunity to show that on Sunday because in every game that is questioned.

a Only one thing shows you have made progress and that is the continuity in your performances, and that you have a good level of cohesion. I believe as well that the way we respond to our disappointment on Monday night is a big indication of how strong we are.

a Ita s very important for your season preparations to not have that kind of stress [about the Champions League qualifier] over your head from the first day you start again – ita s vital. The consequences are always dramatic if you dona t qualify.

a What is even more important now is that the international competitions force you most of the time to start the new season without your players.

a You cannot give them a long enough rest when they have played international games. You know that in England we have no break in the winter. Thata s sometimes difficult to deal with.a

Regarding the rivalry with United, Arsene said, “I believe the rivalry exists and there is a fierce rivalry between all the teams. But is it a bit more respectful today? Maybe. It’s not too bad. It’s only the people who are not inside it who find it absolutely fantastic.

a It has [changed] because at the start it was mainly for a long period Man United and us, between 1998 and 2004. Then Chelsea joined, after you had Manchester City joining in, so it has changed, yes.

a We have been consistent on both sides. We have gone through some periods where we were really restricted in our finances when Man United were not.

a Sometimes I felt that we were fighting with three boxers who have much more resources than us, over the years, and on that front it was Chelsea, Man City and Man United for years who had a much higher calibre financially.”