Belfast Telegraph

Delighted Wenger points to Arsenal's spirit as highlight of win over Man City

By Mark Bryans

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed his side's spirit after last night's 2-1 victory over Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.

Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud put Arsenal 2-0 up - largely thanks to the impressive Mesut Ozil - before Yaya Toure set up a tense conclusion, but the Gunners held strong.

Wenger said: "It was a very intense game at a high pace. I believe that we have shown our talents of spirit, organisation and brilliance all together and that gave us three points.

"When we didn't have the legs any more we relied on the spirit and that got us through in the end.

"You could see when the legs went - Ozil was sick all week - but they still kept going. That's fantastic to see.

"Our belief is strong. We have a bit more maturity in the side now, which you could see in the game when we were under pressure and dealt with it.

"Every win strengthens the belief when it's a big game like that."

Opening goalscorer Walcott lavished praise on Ozil, who ended the game with another two assists.

He said: "The thing about Mesut is he sees things. He knows what you're going to do before you do it, you just have to make that run. Again, when you've got special players on the pitch, that provides special moments."

Ozil, however, downplayed his role in the team's display.

He added: "I'm happy to help the team. You see on the pitch all my team-mates help me so I can play my game, so likewise I just try to help the team."

City boss Manuel Pellegrini bemoaned missed chances and errors in defence.

He said: "We played better than Arsenal in the first-half. The first shot they had was the first goal. Before that we had a clear option to score and we didn't score.

"The second goal was very important, in the last minute, and it was a mistake from our team.

"In the second-half we took more risks and had options to at least get a draw.

"I think we did better than Arsenal, we had more possession, more chances, but we didn't win the game. In this important game we can't make so many mistakes."

Visiting goalscorer Toure added: "In the end we were a little bit unlucky, we had a couple of chances. It was quite disappointing. We were in control of the game but Arsenal were very clever and when we lost the ball they came forward quick.

"We need to bounce back on Saturday. The games are coming quick and we need to get all the players fit and try to do the business."

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