By Richard Clarke

For a side sometimes labelled as soft, Arsenal have certainly been doing things the hard way in recent matches.

They won 2-0 at in-form Blackburn with 10 men last weekend and on Sunday scored twice in the last seven minutes to beat leaders Manchester United at Emirates Stadium.

According to Cesc Fabregas the seeds of both victories were sown in a bruising defeat at Bramall Lane just before the New Year.

"We said after the Sheffield United game that something had to change," said the 19-year-old Spaniard. "We needed to be stronger in every part of the game. And since then we have showed everyone that we have changed.

"We have moved on. Nobody can stop us if we carry on playing the way we are playing. We lost 1-0 at Sheffield United and there was a lot of things to improve and think about. That's what we did and right now we are feeling really, really good.

Even after Sunday's win the gap to Premiership leaders remains a hefty 12 points. Can Arsenal perhaps reel them in?

"We are there," smiled Fabregas. "Even if we don't have to think about it right now we know there is still a chance. It is really annoying to beat Tottenham, Liverpool three times, Man United two times, draw at Chelsea then you see a table and [Man United] are far away.

"Today was the big day. If we have drawn or lost we could say goodbye to the Premiership. But there is still a small chance and until someone says to me it is over we will think we can still do it."

13/2 - Tottenham v Arsenal: Jeremie Aliadiere to score the first goal

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Richard Clarke 22 Jan 2007