By Rob Kelly
Per Mertesacker believes the resilience Arsenal showed to hold off a resurgent Montpellier proves they are growing in maturity.
The Gunners looked in control of their opening game in Champions League Group B at half time on Tuesday night, before the hosts laid siege to their goal in the second period.
But Arsène Wenger's side held firm and Mertesacker was delighted to secure a hard-fought 2-1 victory.
"They had a couple of chances, and one big chance [for Younes Belhanda near the end]," the defender told Arsenal Player.
"They deserved to get more but in the end that was their first Champions League game and we’ve had quite a lot.
"Especially in the last year I think we’ve matured and we’re getting better this season. We are very happy to have the three points and go back to London."
Arsenal have now claimed three successive victories, and Mertesacker says they will go into Sunday's game at Manchester City full of confidence.
"We are convinced that we can stay in the league, at the top, and that’s our target for Sunday," he said. "Last year we lost at Man City. It was a very tight game so we will try to do better this time.
"I feel like we are in a better shape than last year, because we are now in a good shape from the beginning [of the season]. I think we are well prepared now."
Watch the full interview with Per on Arsenal Player now.Copyright 2013 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 19 Sep 2012