English Premiership

Wenger: This strengthens our belief

Arsene Wenger (AP Photo)
Arsene Wenger (AP Photo)

Cape Town - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has praised his team's energy after they made up ground on league leaders Leicester City with a 2-1 win at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The Foxes took the lead just before halftime when Jamie Vardy was brought down just inside the box and thumped home the resulting penalty, but Theo Walcott pulled the Gunners level in the 70th minute before substitute Danny Welbeck fired home the winner deep into added time.

"We put the intensity in from the first to the last minute," Wenger said.

"It was as well a mental test for us, because to find yourself down 1-0 at halftime to a team who defends so well, you need to keep going in your head.

"And we came back in the second-half with relentless energy. And we took as well all the risks to win it. We knew a draw was not good enough. In the end it paid off, down to the mental desire of the team to give absolutely everything to win it."

The victory means that Arsenal leapfrog Manchester City into third place, level on points with derby rivals Spurs and two points behind Leicester, who are still top of the standings.

"A loss today would have been massive," Wenger added.

"Even after that you get all the negative vibes, the belief goes down, would have been much more difficult. We would not have given up, but eight points is three games to come back. We would need to win three , they would need to lose three.

"It will strengthen our belief that we are in the fight. We had a bit of a dodgy spell, Liverpool 3-3, Stoke 0-0, lost to Chelsea, 0-0 at home with Southampton.

"Now after that we won two games and we are still mathematically in the fight, that will strengthen our belief of course.

"What we want to do is to create a consistency to have a chance to do it. We are conscious we have some big games to come up. It is down to how much can we put that kind of energy into every game. But you have Man City, Tottenham and of course Leicester are in it, so at the moment it is very tight."