Wenger proud of Gunners' passion
Published 17/03/2013 | 09:21
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side showed the fight required to secure a top-four finish in their 2-0 win at Swansea.
The Gunners started the weekend five points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea - seven behind third-placed Tottenham - and could not afford to drop any more points in the race for Champions League qualification. Second-half goals from Nacho Monreal and substitute Gervinho ensured they remain firmly in the mix, with their rivals both in action on Sunday.
And Wenger said: "We will know at the end of the season how important this win is, but we knew as well the win was absolutely vital for us and we could not drop points. We have shown we are up for the fight and we will do so until the end of the season."
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had struck the bar twice in the first half, before Monreal swept home with 16 minutes remaining after Olivier Giroud's poor touch fell into his path. Gervinho then made sure of the points in stoppage time with a low finish from Aaron Ramsey's pass.
Wenger added: "The attitude of the players was outstanding, even when our legs were less than fresh after playing in midweek.
"We kept going and refused to drop points. The players knew what was expected.
"What we have done in the last three days is very difficult to do. To win away in the Champions League and then win away in the Premier League is very difficult and I would like to congratulate the players for that."
Under Wenger, Arsenal have long been admired for their style in possession, but it was a rock-solid defensive display that laid the foundations for victory, with Swansea barely testing keeper Lukasz Fabianski.
The Frenchman was delighted with the solidity of his side, for whom Abou Diaby was magnificent in midfield.
Wenger said: "They defended well, as did we. It was a game of defensive stability and we just needed an opening and the first goal was vital. We defended high up the pitch and in the whole second half we tried to pin them back, but we did not create many clear chances until the last 20 minutes and once we went 1-0 up I thought more would come."