Arsene Wenger hailed Arsenal’s victory over Sunderland as an “important result” but was worried they were going to lose after missing a host of chances.
The Gunners eased past the Black Cats 4-1 thanks to braces from Alexis Sanchez and substitute Oliver Giroud but they did suffer a scare when Jermain Defoe had leveled with 25 minutes left on the clock.
But two quick-fire goals from Giroud and another from Sanchez rescued Arsenal and Wenger was relieved to leave the Stadium of Light with all three points.
“It was a mental test when we were at 1-1. We missed so many chances, so many opportunities and I was worried we could lose, but we have shown great strength to bounce back,” Wenger told the BBC after the match.
“In the Premier League at 1-1 you can lose the game but it was how we respond. Do we panic, give up, feel sorry for ourselves? We responded well and in the end it was a comfortable win.
“It was an important result for us. We had six wins, then one draw at home which was disappointing and a second draw or defeat would have been like we had dropped our level.”
On substitute Giroud, Wenger added: “The manager has an easy credit when he has quality players on the bench and you don’t need to be a special manager to make this decision. It was 1-1 and we had Giroud on the bench.”