Arsène Wenger has hailed the defensive resilience of his side after Sunday's hard-fought 1-0 win at Newcastle United.

Arsenal saw off a barrage of late pressure at St. James' Park to keep their eighth clean sheet of the season as they moved back to the top of the table.

Wenger was delighted with the win and feels the Gunners showed "another aspect" of their game in holding out for the three points.

They tried to stop us at any cost and we controlled the game technically quite well

Arsène Wenger

"We played against a good team who made it very physical for us," he told Arsenal Player. "They tried to stop us at any cost and we controlled the game technically quite well until we scored the goal.

“After that we had a chance to score the second and then suddenly we have refused to play and just wanted to protect the score. But we did that with another aspect of our team, the solidarity, togetherness and fighting spirit.

"Everybody threw their bodies in and I'm very proud of the players."

Despite a gruelling run of games in December, Wenger's side end 2013 on top of the Premier League and Wenger says the current group of players are a "pleasure" to work with.

"What I'm especially pleased with is the mentality, the spirit, the hunger of the team," he said. "It's a pleasure to work with them and despite the fact that we play against great teams in the league, if we can keep these qualities in the squad we have a chance."

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 Isaac Moore 30 Dec 2013