Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hailed his side’s concentration and focus as they dug in to record a 3-1 win over Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium.
Olivier Giroud’s own goal had deservedly put Sunderland level at the break following Joel Campbell’s opener, before goals from Giroud – at the right end – and Aaron Ramsey secured a hard-earned win over the Black Cats.
Wenger told the BBC after the game that the Gunners had survived a real test to claim victory.
“This Premier League is a battle,” he said. “You have to give credit to Sunderland who were well organised and always dangerous on the break. It could have been one of those days, but the mental aspect was good and we kept concentration.”
Wenger also had special praise for Campbell, who has emerged as an important member of the squad in recent weeks and looks set for a more prominent role in the light of a number of key injuries.
Wenger added: “Joel Campbell did well. He also scored against Swansea since he has come into the side; his contribution is very positive.
“We have to keep winning games and collecting points and hope that Leicester slip up.”
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey added: “It was important to get back to winning ways, close the gap at the top and it was nice to do it in front of our own fans. Everyone is going to be taking points off each other – it is going to be tight all the way through – and we have to try and make the most of this busy period coming up.”