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Wenger - We were patient and intelligent

Arsene Wenger has hailed his side’s patience and intelligence following their last-gasp victory against Southampton on Wednesday night.

The Gunners put the visitors under concerted pressure in the closing stages but had to wait for Alexis Sanchez’s 89th-minute strike to seal the points.

Wenger was relieved to see his side secure a third successive victory and praised the maturity and calmness under pressure that they displayed.

"I knew before the game that we could win it in the last 15 minutes and fortunately it happened"

Arsene Wenger

“It was a game where we needed to be patient and intelligent not to make a defensive mistake,” the manager told Arsenal Player. “That is why we need to keep the core in the middle of the team.

“[Southampton] were well organised and in the last 20 minutes you could feel they started to suffer physically and we took advantage of that. I knew before the game that we could win it in the last 15 minutes and fortunately it happened. Honestly in the second half I don’t think they had many dangerous situations.

“It was difficult to keep our calm but we are professional football players. The crowd was a bit nervous but overall we kept a clean sheet and won the game. We know we can score at any moment.”

The Gunners are heading into a packed Christmas schedule and Wenger is pleased with the form his side are showing.

“It is a very important period but one thing is for sure - we are not under huge pressure for game No 6 in the Champions League,” he said. “[With] the week we had behind us and the week we have now, to go to Galatasaray for a decisive game would be very difficult.

“At least we are not under massive pressure there so let’s focus on our next game at Stoke. It is a difficult place for us to go but let’s show there that we have improved and we can deal with it.”

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