Per Mertesacker has praised Arsenal's medical team for helping him defy the odds and complete a full 90 minutes against Chelsea.
The vice-captain was only given an outside chance of returning from the ankle injury he suffered during the FA Cup semi-final, but Mertesacker led the team out on Sunday and was outstanding at the back.
"It’s a big miracle and I have to give a huge thanks to all the people who contributed, especially our medical team who did a fantastic job to get all the fluid out of my ankle after I twisted it badly," Mertesacker told Arsenal Player.
There’s no room to sit back now, we need to fight until the end. We have an extended week with the FA Cup final so we need to stay sharp
"I didn’t expect to play the following week but I’m happy and I have to give a huge thanks to all who contributed to make it possible for me to feature."
Mertesacker had no complaints after Arsenal and Chelsea played out a closely-contested 0-0 draw.
"There was a high intensity from the start and I think we came out with a good tempo," he said. "We tried to control the game and it was not easy.
"Obviously they tried to defend really properly from top to bottom. We created a few chances here and there but overall it was a tight game.
"Both teams deserved to get a clean sheet because there weren't many chances. They only had one chance so we defended really well as a group. It’s just one point so we’re a bit disappointed because we gave absolutely everything.
"It’s difficult now to get to the top [of the table] but we want to stay where we are. We’ll try everything… we need to keep going.
"There’s no room to sit back now, we need to fight until the end. We have an extended week with the FA Cup final so we need to stay sharp and we’re on a good unbeaten run, so let’s keep going like that. Then we’ll finish really strong."Copyright 2016 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