Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, was happy with his side’s strong response to the weekend wins of their title rivals, after the Gunners beat Aston Villa 2-1 in the Monday night game.
Two goals in the space of one first-half minute from Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud proved enough for the Gunners despite a late Christian Benteke reply.
The result lifted Wenger’s side back to the top of the Premier League and the coach was praising his men for a strong response under a lot of pressure.
"It was a big win for us. We had to give a strong response,” Wenger said after the game.
"Everyone looks at you to see if you drop points because they have made their points over the weekend.
"You are a bit more under pressure when you play last because you know you are not allowed to drop points.
"You can only give one answer - to win the game.
After the two first-half goals, Arsenal looked in control of the match until Benteke scored his first goal after four months with 14 minutes to go, but Wenger says his side showed they are ready to fight for the title.
"There were two different halves. The first half was about playing well, the speed of our passing and control of the game. The second half was more about fighting,” Wenger continued.
"Maybe we were a little bit too cautious just to keep the 2-0 and it was then about fighting. Our defenders kept us in the game.
"It was a difficult game for us but I like the fact we are mentally ready for a fight."
Wenger was particularly happy with Jack Wilshere’s performance, who scored the opening goal and assisted Arsenal’s second, and stated “he is coming back to his best."
The concerns for Wenger were injuries to Tomas Rosicky, who took a blow to the face in a challenge with Gabriel Agbonlahor, and Nacho Monreal, hurt when fairly tackled by Ron Vlaar.
"Rosicky has a bad nose. I don't know if it is broken or not but it looked bad,” Wenger said.
"I didn't see it (the incident) and Tomas doesn't know if he did it on purpose or not.
"Monreal I think was an accident. We have to check his metatarsal tomorrow morning. He got a kick on the top of the laces."
Villa defender, Nathan Baker, suffered a sickening injury in the first half when he was struck in the face by a shot from Serge Gnabry.
But Baker, who hardly moved before being carried away on a stretcher wearing an oxygen mask after several minutes, seems to be ok even though the Villa defender can’t remember what happened.
"He is a little bit groggy but he is okay. He can't remember a thing about what happened,” confirmed Aston Villa manager, Paul Lambert.
The Gunners have now won their last four league games in a row after losing 3-6 to Manchester City and drawing 0-0 with Chelsea. Do Arsenal have what it takes to stay at the top of the Premier League?
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