There was relief and joy all around Emirates Stadium - except for the away end - when Olivier Giroud nodded home Mesut Ozil’s cross on Boxing Day.
After the game Arsene Wenger sat down for his press conference. Read on for some of the key quotes:
- 'It's a big finish, it's an amazing feeling'
- Team news: Walcott and Gibbs latest
- Arsenal 1-0 West Bromwich Albion - Report
on persistence finally paying off…Yes, we created plenty of chances. We needed today to be patient, keep our composure in our game and not make a defensive mistake - that’s what we did. They had a chance through Yacob in the second half, but overall I felt that defensively we were quite sound and we had, I thought, with 10 minutes to go I thought we could play a draw or even, if we were not intelligent, lose the game. Overall I believe West Brom were well-organised, we passed the ball quite well and quickly but we didn’t find the incisiveness that is needed because they basically played six across in their final third. We have little pockets where you usually get in but we found it difficult today. But we kept going and in the end when we couldn’t make the difference on the ground, we made it in the air with maybe the only player in our team who can do that.
on where our confidence is at right now…The confidence is swinging, depending highly on the results. We have played 20 games, 14 games in the Premier League and six in the Champions League without losing a game. And we lost two on the trot so the confidence, of course, is hit. But after that, as well, it’s testing because it’s a good test. There is no season without disappointment. It is interesting to see how the team responds to disappointment.
on the importance of winning after back-to-back losses…Of course it was vital. But you’re under pressure before the game. It’s exactly the tie you don’t want, West Brom. You’re under pressure, you know they defend deep, they are well-organised, they are resilient - we are super-favourites. And you can just have a big problem if you don’t win the game because mentally of course, if you don’t win for three games, it’s always difficult. Although I think we lost two games under very special circumstances.
on whether he knows why Lucas and Gabriel had a heated discussion on the way off…No. I don’t know what it is about, I didn’t see it as well. But they have the South American temper, you know, and that can sometimes happen. I don’t think that anything bad happened. They are two good friends, very close to each other so that is already forgotten now.
on whether he senses more resilience about the team this season…I feel yes because it’s normal that I tell you yes, but we have to show that for the whole season to maintain that kind of resilience. At the moment there is quite a big distance between us and Chelsea and we need a special resilience to come back, but I hope that the other teams will have as well their moments of weakness and we can only take advantage of it if we continue like that.
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