By Richard Clarke
Leaving it late is the mark of champions, according to Arsène Wenger.
Arsenal secured a crucial 2-1 victory in injury time at Hull on Saturday. A fortnight earlier they had done the same thing at Stoke and, in fact, in their last five games Wenger’s men have scored six goals in the 90th minute or later.
The manager puts this tardiness down to technique and belief. He has admitted he could do without the adrenaline shot but his side's ability to fathom out a win in tight circumstances has a title-winning quality to it.
“Manchester United used to score late, yes,” he said. “I believe that this season nobody has scored more than Arsenal in the last 15 minutes. Maybe it is down to a technical superiority and a never-give-up attitude. That is what I like in my team. When I see them on the pitch, I know they will not give up.”
They had that same attitude when at the end of November they trailed leaders Chelsea by 11 points. Right now they are just two points adrift of Manchester United, who top the table.
“I knew that they would not give up then but at some stage we needed results to start going for us,” he said. “You could not predict that, frankly.
“Our attitude has been spot on and we have deserved the wins. The rest of the season will be tight, interesting and exciting and that is all you need when you work in newspapers.
“I don't know if this would be my best achievement, let's achieve something first!
“But with eight games - four at home, four away - to go we are still in the race. So let’s have a go.”