Arsene Wenger hailed Mathieu Flamini’s fighting spirit for deciding to fight for his place at Arsenal and then firing them past Tottenham.
Flamini, who could have left the club during the summer transfer window, marked his first appearance of the season with a double strike to help Arsenal beat Tottenham 2-1 in the Capital One Cup at White Hart Lane.
“You do not expect Mathieu Flamini to score two goals but he was certainly frustrated for a long time and he went for it,” said Wenger.
“He has worked very hard recently and I saw in training he was very focused, that he had come back to a good level, also I wanted to strengthen our defensive midfield.
“He is a fighter, Mathieu, and a winner as well.
“I told him at the start of the season it might be difficult for him to be a starter, but he decided to stay and he did fight.”
Wenger was pleased with the way his team, which included several changes from the starting XI at Stamford Bridge, secured a hard-earned victory.
“Overall we responded well mentally and physically to the challenge we faced tonight, and it was a convincing performance,” the Arsenal manager said.
“We were unlucky with the own goal and after found the resources to score a second goal.”