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'It was a combative performance'

Arsene Wenger says he is pleased with the “convincing” way in which Arsenal dealt with West Ham United’s physicality.

Santi Cazorla and Danny Welbeck scored before the break, but Cheikhou Kouyate pulled one back as the home side launched an aerial assault on the Gunners’ defence in the last 10 minutes.

However, Wojciech Szczesny and the reunited centre-back pairing of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny stood firm, making vital interceptions to help Arsenal to their second win in two days.

"We had a united, combative and very solid performance"

“It was a very important game for us and we knew that we had a very physical game in front of us,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“I was a bit worried because we played with 10 men for 40 minutes against QPR and had to turn up here two days later, but we had a united, combative and very solid performance.

“We are questioned a lot about our physicality and we had a good opportunity to show that we could do it - and we did it in a very convincing way.”

Arsenal face Southampton on New Year’s Day for their final Premier League fixture of the busy Christmas period and Wenger is confident his side can continue to build momentum in the second half of the season.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to do well in a big game,” he explained. “We can get some confidence from [West Ham], we drew 2-2 at Liverpool and they equalised in the final minute. I feel we have enough confidence to do well.”

 

Santi Cazorla

Santi Cazorla

 

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