On the importance of the result…
“I feel it was a very important result because I imagine what would have happened if we had lost today. Mathematically it was very important for us to stay close to the top and to show what kind of determination, spirit and mental attitude we have. We went out there today thinking that we will win no matter what happens. No matter what happens on the pitch we will keep going and that is what we did.

“We won against, for me, a great Man United side and the difference was maybe we took our chances early on and they didn’t. After we scored the second goal we did hang on but tried to score the third goal on the counter attack. We wouldn’t do that and that is why the game remained very tight until the end.”

On the contribution of Samir Nasri…
“When he is in front of goal he can finish with his right foot or left foot. He has a lot of pace and power and I encourage him to go in the final third. He was a more typical playmaker in France who gave the ball and took it back. I believe that with his pace he can penetrate in the final third and he will score plenty of goals. That is what he did today because he is a tremendous finisher.”

On ever doubting his side’s chances…

“I didn’t doubt the spirit of my players. I acknowledged that we made some mistakes, especially against Tottenham, but I never questioned the spirit, quality or ability to play for the championship.

“There is only one thing in our job and that is to go on the football pitch and show how much you want it, show quality on the pitch – and spirit – and that is what we did. I believe above all today it was a fantastic football game because both teams played with the right spirit.”

On winning despite missing players…
“For example you had a player like Nicklas Bendtner today who had an outstanding game. It shows how different this job is because on Wednesday he was not especially on his best form and three days later he produced a quality performance. It was a team answer, first of all we showed that we have the squad which is questioned so many times. We showed that no matter who plays we have the spirit.”

On Man United’s squandered chances…
“I do not want to talk too much about the difference between the teams but I thought that we did everything that was needed to win the game. If you say we could have lost it if they had taken every chance, maybe. But we have done everything we could to win this game and our attitude cannot be questioned, nor our quality. Personally I do not question the quality of Man United.

“You know that every big game is like that. I just said after the game that Man United are a great team. They have just won the European Cup last year and the Premier League last year, you cannot be a small team and do that. Of course they are a great team, of course they had chances as well, but we had chances too. That is why I believe it was a cracking football game. If you love football, I do not say you love Arsenal or Man United, today it was a game for people who love football.”

On facing another ‘football playing’ side…
“Football becomes very interesting when both teams want to play, we have seen that again today. I believe that apart from Stoke, we went to Bolton and Blackburn and we won in a convincing way. We had one accident at Stoke and after it provoked hysteria. After the 0-0 against Fenerbahce we have eight points in the Champions League and no one else has more apart from Juventus who have 10. All across Europe nobody has more than eight points in the Champions League. It is difficult sometimes to understand why everybody became so critical so suddenly.

“There is respect [for Sir Alex Ferguson] of course. I believe that we are surviving battlers in this game and therefore I have a lot of respect for him. We both play football.”

On playing out six minutes of injury time…
“I felt ‘that’s a very long time’. Just before they scored the fourth official told me it was going to be six minutes and I asked him if he was sure, what’s that? I have never played six minutes here.

“I personally would have preferred it if they had gone to the corner flag. I prefer that to passing the ball around in our own half with three minutes to go. We would prefer to have a positive attitude in the other half of the pitch. I want them first to be in the other half of the pitch then they are as close to the corner flag as possible.

“You always have to be cautious though because on day when we played Chelsea it was 2-2 and Kanu had the ball. I told him to go to the corner flag but he didn’t listen and he went and scored the third and we won 3-2. If the players have the quality then they always find the right answer.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 8 Nov 2008