Wenger in no mood to buy despite Reds exposing frailties

Julian Harris
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ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger insists his squad can compete for football’s top prizes even if, as expected. he fails to add any talent before the transfer window closes tonight.

Second-half strikes from Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott earned the Gunners a draw against Liverpool last night, after Luis Suarez and Jordan Henderson had exploited woeful defending to give the visitors a two-goal lead.

The result leaves Arsenal four points off the top four, having taken just five points from their five Premier League games since the turn of the year – yet Wenger remains bullish.

“This squad is top, top level for me. And I think we have to learn to trust these players again and keep faith in them,” he said. “We have signed a bunch of young English players who have committed to the club for the next four or five years and I think there’s a lot to come out of this team.”

Wenger said he “cannot promise” that the club will sign any players before tonight’s deadline.

Arsenal have started games poorly of late, and the trait was evident again last night. After six minutes Bacary Sagna slipped, allowing Glen Johnson to find Daniel Sturridge free just six yards out. His effort was blocked but the rebound fell to Suarez, who slotted home.

And Liverpool had two chances to double the lead before half-time. Sturridge almost stole the ball from goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny’s feet right in front of goal on 10 minutes, while Henderson caught the Pole off his line shortly before half time, but saw his chip drop over the bar.

Nonetheless, a second goal came on the hour, as Henderson meandered through a sluggish Arsenal defence. His first effort was blocked, but the midfielder reacted quickest to jab into an empty net.

Yet Arsenal hit back almost immediately, Giroud heading home an in-swinging Jack Wilshere free-kick.

With the wind finally in their sails, the Gunners scored again just two minutes later. A neat passing move on the right side of the penalty area saw Giroud lay the ball to Walcott, who smacked a first-time drive inside the far post.