On whether Cesc suffered a recurrence of his previous injury...
It is of course a concern that he is injured but it can happen unfortunately. He was very upset, I am as well, but it is not his fault and it is not my fault, it is part of sport. It's strange that it happened early in the game but we have to face it. Theo is disappointed of course.

On getting the three points...
We did the job in a very professional way. We faced a Stoke team that defended very well, very compact, but we were intelligent, calm, patient and overall I believe that we were resilient as well when Stoke had their strong moments because we didn't give in when they did what they do very well.

On Rory Delap's long throws...
I wonder if they should not change the rules in the game a little bit because the throw-ins just after halfway goes into the box. Every time you have to face the danger with Delap, every time it is in the box and it is difficult to defend. We did it very well because we didn't concede a goal against them and I am quite proud of that because it is so difficult. I have seen them at home against Sunderland and in five minutes they won the game with this kind of situation with the ball in the box [from a throw]. You are always under a threat and they can change games in a fraction of minutes.

On whether he would change the throw-in rule...
No, I just think it is a problem that you face here but imagine at Stoke! You have to be prepared for it. I have not an issue with the long throws or any other aspect of their game. It is a team that you know you have prepare mentally for because you will not take the points if you don't do that. Nobody likes to play against Stoke because they have a very special way to play the game. But for me they defended in a very intelligent way. For 90 minutes they were disciplined and we didn't find the space. When we did, quickly they cut it off and we could not take advantage. I was quite surprised how intelligently they defended.

On winning when playing below their best...
Tonight was a night when nobody else played [well] and if you can take three points and glide closer to the top, that means that your team is really hungry for success. The number of games we play, not to make a mistake at any stage... we were less sharp creatively but you could feel the team did not want to make a mistake and that's a very positive sign.

On the spirit between the teams...
I think overall the game was played in a good spirit. It was committed with strong challenges but overall correct.

On the growing maturity in his team...
I think we have matured, certainly. We can win a game tonight when we are less creative, less fluent, but with intelligence, brain and calm. That is what has changed. Before, one or two years ago when we were not at our best, we dropped points. Tonight you could see the team realised 'let's not make the mistake' and I must give a lot of credit to my players.

On whether the pressure is now on Man United...
Well we all have pressure now because that's the period where it starts, in March, everyone is under pressure. Chelsea will be, Man United will be, everybody is, but that's part of being in the position we are in. Three months ago when we lost here against Newcastle, who would have given us the chance of even being in the top four. We have come back in a strong position and I will not complain, I am very happy that we have a chance to be in there.

On whether facing Stoke was good practice for Sunday...
Yes because it was a little bit like a cup game tonight. Tactically we will face certainly the same kind of problem, yes.

On Koscielny and Van Persie's fitness...
We will know more on Friday.

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 23 Feb 2011