Goals from Bacary Sagna and Cesc (and Chelsea and United dropping points) propel Arsenal to second place in the League. Fabulous Fabianski helped to hold off a late rally by Everton despite a goal by Tim Cahill. But it was still heart attack city for Gooners watching and waiting for the final whistle.
Jack Wilshere went off at half-time but Arsene says he was just being cautious - Jack is not injured. Also, Bendtner was left at home not as punishment for his quit threats, but because his groin injury flared up.
On the different qualities shown by his team…
The most important qualities we showed were discipline, commitment, togetherness, desire and a 100 per cent focus for 90 minutes. That is what got us the points. When you come here without those [qualities] you don’t get the points. We have had two very difficult away games with Wolves and today and we have got six points that put us in a good situation. We were a bit disappointed after last Sunday but I feel that was under special circumstances against Newcastle. Overall the team has shown great spirit.
On being equipped to challenge for the Premier League…
That’s what I have said for a long time. [The players] get a lot of encouragement from the way they are playing at the moment, from our discipline and our focus. Lets get points into our account and see where we stand in the end, that’s what we’re trying to do.
On Lukasz Fabianski’s crucial late saves…
When we were 2-0 up I felt we tried too much to keep that score and keep the ball in a negative way instead of wanting to continue to play forward. We were nearly punished and we needed a few good saves from the ‘keeper because we became a bit too conservative.
On Jack Wilshere…
He is not injured. I felt I wanted a second holding player to win the second balls from headers and I felt he looked a bit tired today because he [has] played many games. I wanted to take him off because of that. He will be alright to go with England.
On Nicklas Bendtner…
He had a little groin problem and I left him at home. I don’t know [whether he will be part of the Danish national squad]. They can call him up and check his condition. I would prefer him not to go. He would prefer to stay as well. I want him to stay, I have known Nicklas since he was 16 years old and I have a good rapport and good communication with him. I like him as a player and as a person. I want him to stay and be part of the group.
On getting stronger with players returning…
Van Persie is not ready yet and nor is Walcott completely.
On Jay Bothroyd’s call up for England…
He was one of my regrets because he left our Club very early. I have said many times that most importantly the guy has a good career, even if he goes somewhere else it’s better than to play in our Reserves. He went down and came up again, credit to him. We are all happy and proud at Arsenal. He is a good a guy and he is a classy left-footed player with a strong body and fantastic technique. Like all of these talented players some of them sometimes realise later that they need not only to have talent, but to work as well. Sometimes to go down to the Championship is a better education.
On Cesc Fabregas’ booking…
Every time Cesc goes for the ball everybody studies with a microscope what he has done. From the bench I could not see it. When you are on the right you have the linesman in front of you.
On the performance sending out a statement…
The performance today has shown we have something that is not only quality football but we have fighting spirit. That is an ingredient you will need if you want to fight for the championship like we want to do. At the moment we face Chelsea who are on a little bit of a different pace but what is important is that we keep going with these qualities.
Observing a minute of silence
Bacary's goal - his first in 966 days and 105 games
Reaction from Arsene and Arsenal bench
Cesc went for the ball, Distin stepped on his ankle, both went down, and Howard Webb booked Cesc
An amazing stat for the keeper who used to be known as Flappyhanski
@Orbinho: Only Peter Cech (89%) has a better saves to shots ratio than Lukasz Fabianski this season (82%).