Wenger on victory, Alexis, Koscielny

Arsene Wenger faced the media after Arsenal's 1-0 win against Southampton at Emirates Stadium. You can read a full transcript of what he said below:

on whether Arsenal deserved to win…I think we deserved it, yes, because we have very few chances away and we had more chances than Southampton. We kept a clean sheet as well.

on finishing strongly…It was difficult for us to keep going from the start of the game because we’ve given a lot against Dortmund and on Saturday - today was the third game in seven days. You could see that we had to dig deep. We played against a good team who are very well organised and play very quick on the counter-attack. For us it was important not to be exposed on the counter-attack and to keep a clean sheet. We had to be patient and wait for our chances and you could see in the last 20 minutes that they started to suffer a little bit physically and that we created openings.

on whether he’s surprised how quickly Giroud’s picked up his form…He worked very hard and we have a very good preparation system. Everytime the players come back we get them to a point where they are basically ready but, having said that, he played 70 minutes on Saturday and 25 today. He was a bit jaded today.

on whether he thinks he made the difference today…His physical presence made a difference.

on whether anyone has settled in as quickly as Alexis…He was one of the players who had to dig in today but he still has such a desire to fight, which is why he always finds something special to get the goal. It’s difficult to find examples of people who have settled so quickly. My memory is not perfect but quicker, you cannot. We are in December and he arrived in July - when you look at the number of goals and the impact he has on the team, it’s fabulous.

on whether Arsenal now have momentum with them…I’m a bit cautious but we have the right attitude, we have a good solidarity in the team, a good focus, and that’s a good basis. Laurent Koscielny was absolutely outstanding today and he contributes to stabilise our defence. We missed him for nearly two months and it’s important.

on whether it’s nice to be on the winning side…Yes but it’s a long way to go. For us it was important to win today because we lost our last home game and you could see that the confidence within the crowd was a bit nervous so it was important to win the game.

on whether that transmitted itself to the players…At times, yes. Southampton closed us down well.

on whether there was something missing…In our fluency, yes. We didn’t have our usual fluency in the game but it’s important as well that you’re capable of winning the game when that is not perfect.

on how many players haven’t hit peak form yet…I don’t know. It’s difficult to count spontaneously like that because it changes game to game as well.

on Southampton…Don’t bury them too quickly. They are a good side and they played very well. Up front they are quick to come out when they win it, they are always first on the ball and they play in a very intelligent way. You always feel they are a threat.

on whether Southampton are top-four contenders…I think so, yes.

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