Arsene Wenger hailed Arsenal’s “great solidarity and concentration” after Saturday’s 2-1 win against Everton at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners had struggled to break down the visitors’ resolute defence in the opening 30 minutes but scored twice in quick succession thanks to headers from Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny.
Ross Barkley did pull one back with a deflected strike before half-time, but Arsenal stood firm against a late Everton charge to leapfrog Manchester City into first place ahead of Sunday’s Manchester derby.
"When you can win a game after such a massive game like Tuesday night, that tells you a lot about your team"
“It was tough but I felt we played with great concentration, great solidarity,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “After 2-0 it is important not to concede at half-time, that is maybe the negative of the day as we got caught on the break just before half-time.
“But after that our solidarity was exceptional, it got us through. We could not score the third goal but we had the chances and in the end we got three massive points. When you can win a game after such a massive game like Tuesday night, that tells you a lot about your team.
“It is very pleasing [to go top of the table],” added Wenger. “We were in a crisis at the start of the season and nine games later nobody would have predicted that because we relied on our spirit, our togetherness and our desire to do well. It worked so lets continue with these ingredients.”
Petr Cech made a crucial save to deny Gerard Delofeu from close range in the closing stages, and the manager was full of praise for the “world-class” 33-year-old.
“That is why I cannot play in goal and we need a top-level goalkeeper,” the manager said. “It is a vital moment just before the end of the game to keep us in the match. If the ball goes in, we have no time to respond anymore. That is why he is world class.“
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