• Premier League

Wenger hails Arsenal's resilience

ESPN staff
March 16, 2014
Arsene Wenger believes the wins sets Arsenal up for his 1000th game in charge against Chelsea © Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was proud of the "special resilience" his players displayed in keeping Tottenham at bay and themselves in contention for the Premier League title.

Arsenal's first win at White Hart Lane since September 2007 was far from easy and they were fortunate to leave victorious.

Tomas Rosicky's thunderbolt after just 72 seconds proved enough in a tense North London derby, which only ended 1-0 thanks to Spurs' wayward finishing and some wonderful defending.

Wenger was proud of the resilience shown by his side in a victory that sees Arsenal move into third in the standings and, crucially, closes the gap on leaders Chelsea to four points.

"It is a huge result," Wenger said. "We were under pressure to win before the game because of course it was a very important game. Our early goal maybe influenced too much how we played because we missed a second goal and after that we wanted to protect the lead and sometimes we were under pressure.

Tim Sherwood got so angry he ended up throwing his gilet on the touchline © Getty Images

"Tottenham played well, we must say. For me, they were absolutely up for it and we needed some special resilience to get away with it. As long as we didn't score the second goal, of course it was a very tight game, but in the end, for us, it is three massive points."

Wenger was quick to highlight the "exceptional" centre-back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker for helping Arsenal over the line at White Hart Lane.

The result was the ideal response to the defeat at Stoke in their last Premier League outing and may well prove a catalyst to success in next weekend's trip to leaders Chelsea.

"It gets us a bit closer to Chelsea and makes the game next week even more interesting," Wenger said. "We are now back to four points behind, we have a game in hand and we've played two away games on the trot now. We have five games at home and we will see. It makes, of course, the next game a very big one.

"We needed the three points after a disappointing result at Stoke and I think that was still on our mind. Overall, we know to stay in the race it was vital to win and our away fans have been brilliant since the start of the season."

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