By Joe Brewin

Arsène Wenger has hailed midfielder Yossi Benayoun after his crucial header sank Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

Benayoun came off the bench with 10 minutes remaining to score his third goal of the campaign, heading home from Robin van Persie’s 87th-minute corner.

Wenger had previously sympathised with Benayoun’s lack of match action this season and was quick to praise the Israel international’s attitude after the game.

“He is well integrated in the group, is a fantastic professional and has a great spirit,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“He is a very intelligent boy and tonight he did fantastically well when he came on. The changes who came on did very well and stabilised our game I think - Yossi came on and won us three fantastic points.

“You go to City and then to Villa and I have to give fantastic credit to my players, they have given absolutely everything in the last three days with two difficult away games.

“For us to respond well was vital. I was a bit nervous I must say because for us you have experience and history with us coming to Aston Villa - it is always these kinds of games where it is marginal to win or to lose.

“I was a bit nervous because I knew how important it was to win and I knew that it would be a difficult game.”

Watch the full interview with Wenger on Arsenal Player.

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 22 Dec 2011