On a test of character...
"I feel that our character was tested twice today. Just before half time and with eight minutes to go, we were twice down and came back against a good Man United side. In fairness, there is a difference in the impression they gave and what they created really because they looked always like they could take advantage of any mistake we will make. Going forward they have clinical players and they did that well, but if you look overall they didn't create a lot although they are a very good side."

On the overall result ...
"In the end it looked like a victory because we came back from 2-1 down with one minute to go. Overall I feel it is a fair result, they were dangerous and I feel that in the first half we played with a little bit with the handbrake. In the second half we played a little bit free but we lacked a little bit. We didn't find completely our flowing game, didn't find our creative side of the game and we had more to rely on character and determination."

On a cautious start...
"We were tentative and too cautious and I felt that we played at the wrong pace. And that allowed Man United to control us quite well. After that, in the second half it was better but still, I don't feel that sharpness wise we were at our best today - even if it was a good game. Character-wise, we have shown plenty again."

On hidden qualities...
"There's something special in this side that you don't see at first because it is a team who attracts you more by the technical ability. But if you look well into the side there is some resilience that is well hidden. There is some character that is well hidden because it is all disguised by the fact that it looks easy. The team has easy technique, you know? But there is a lot of technique in there."

On Gallas' goal...
"I didn't see it. I saw that ball coming out again, then it went to Walcott, I thought 'he will put it in' and he missed his shot, and then the referee interrupted the game. I thought he has given a free-kick against us, a foul or an offside, so I had a very good... not present, but surprise. The best way to lead your team is to show character and he did that today, he was calm, he scored an important goal and overall I feel of course with his attitude, he is really 'in it' much more than last year I felt, he's really part of it, he wants to lead the team. He looked last season a bit more on the fringe of the side, this year he's really in the heart of it and I'm very happy with his leadership qualities."

On the linesman who saw the goal...
"Fantastic, because he was on the wrong side, and he saw it. I don't know how he saw it. When you see it on television the ball was in by quite a yard."

On conceding two...
"Yes, for both goals we looked a bit caught. I think overall we controlled the tempo quite well but on the goals we were not at our best."

On missing Van Persie...
"We miss something, yes. I feel especially in the first half where Adebayor was not only isolated, but he moved to the flanks and then we had nobody in the centre. In the second half I asked him to stay completely central and straight away we had a bigger threat. But in the first half we didn't occupy their central defenders enough."

On his respect for United...
"Yes, of course they are a side who looks strong and they will be title contenders, without a doubt. "

On the title race...
"We are in [front at] the moment because we have a game in hand and we're in front, how it will go I don't know, it depends on how much Chelsea and Liverpool will come back into the race. At Christmas you will know more about that because it looks Chelsea has found a new consistency, and today is a big day - Blackburn [versus] Liverpool as well, and in the next two or three games you will know more about them."

On taking two points from two games...
"It is a disappointment because I thought we could make four, on the other hand it is satisfying to know that twice in big games we had to run after the score, and you need to be special to come back every time."

 

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 3 Nov 2007