London, Dec 22 (IANS) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was delighted with the character of his side as they held off a second-half fightback to claim a 2-1 victory over English Premier League title rivals Manchester City.
Arsenal had taken a two-goal lead before half-time here on Monday, with Theo Walcott curling in a superb shot before Olivier Giroud scored his 10th goal of the season.
City piled on the pressure in the second period and Yaya Toure’s stunning effort into the top corner with eight minutes left set up a grandstand finale, but Arsenal hung on to secure their third Premier League win in a row.
“For us it was a vital game and it was a game that you come out very happy because it has shown all kind of ingredients you need in big games: good organisation, strong solidarity, high work-rate, moments of brilliance, moments where we needed to hang on because that’s important as well,” Wenger was quoted as saying by premierleague.com on Monday.
The victory means Arsenal, in second with 36 points from 17 matches, have closed the gap on league leaders Leicester City to two points, while they are four points ahead of third-placed City.
“It is too early to say we can win the league but it strengthens our belief,” Wenger added.