Arsenal boss pays tribute to defensive duo in Tottenham win
18:57 16 March 2014
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was delighted with the resilience his side showed in the 1-0 win at Tottenham.
Spurs dominated proceedings but only mustered two shots on target – Nacer Chadli saw his shot blocked by Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny saved from Emmanuel Adebayor.
The result means they are now four points behind leaders Chelsea with a game in hand and Wenger was delighted with the result.
“It is a huge result,” he said. “We were under pressure to win before the game as it is very important.
“After that, it was a mixture – our early goal influenced the way we play a little bit.
“We missed the second goal and we wanted to protect the lead and sometimes we were under pressure.
“Tottenham played well. For me, they were up for it and we needed some special resilience to get away with it.
“As we didn’t score it was a very tight game. For us, it’s three massive points.”
He singled out Koscielny and Per Mertesacker for praise after the game as well as praising Thomas Vermaelen who shored things up further in the final minutes.
“They were exceptional, yes,” he added. “They were at Bayern.
“Even after Vermaelen came on and we finished with a three – Spurs couldn’t create any chances.”
He added: “They needed to be at their best as Adebayor was up for it as he is against us.
“We needed a good defensive performance and that came from our two centre backs.”
Tomas Rosicky scored the winner for the Gunners with a stunning strike from the corner of the penalty area and Wenger said it would be added to his collection.
“It will go in my collection of great goals,” he said. “I’ve told Tomas that and he surprised everybody.
“It’s an unbelievable goal. I don’t know [if it’s in the top five]. My memory is not big enough.”
The Arsenal fans and players were visibly delighted with the victory as they celebrated together at the end of the game and Wenger paid tribute to the travelling support.
“You go in the dressing room you know it means a lot,” he added. “We needed the three points.
“We had a disappointing result at Stoke. We know to stay in the race it was vital to win. Our away fans have been brilliant since the start of the season.”