Belfast Telegraph

Wenger: Gunners no longer pushovers

Arsene Wenger believes his young Arsenal side showed they can no longer be bullied by their title rivals after finally striking a significant psychological blow with a long-overdue victory against Chelsea.

Arsenal moved back up into second place, behind leaders Manchester United by two points, having now played a match more ahead of the midweek fixtures which see the Gunners at Wigan on Wednesday night.

"It was a double impact," Wenger said. "Mathematically, it keeps us in touch with the leaders of the league, and psychologically, it was important because we were questioned about our capability of winning big games."

He added: "I am happy with the desire in the team. We kept good discipline in the team for 90 minutes and put in a real team performance.

"It can be a very pivotal moment, but we have to respond away at Wigan on Wednesday night in a game where we want to turn up and take points.

"We know to beat the big teams at home will have an important impact on this league."

The Arsenal manager declared: "We are not bullied any more. That is for sure.

"Two years ago with the same players we were maybe battered by Chelsea. Last year we felt we were getting closer. This year, at United and Chelsea, we were more frustrated because we were more in the game and there was no real difference.

"It was a slow learning process that we got out of our system."

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