LONDON: Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal’s hard-fought 1-0 win over north London rivals Tottenham proves they will not crack under the strain of the Premier League title race.
Wenger’s side have often been accused of lacking the mental strength and physical power to survive the gruelling battle for supremacy at the top of the table.
There has never been any questioning the Gunners’ technical ability and that class was clear for all to see as Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky took just 72 seconds to open the scoring at White Hart Lane on Sunday with a sublime half-volley from an acute angle.
But Wenger’s players spent the remaining 88 minutes engaged in the kind of trench warfare from which they rarely seem to emerge unscathed.
This time it was different.
Arsenal centre-backs Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker subdued fired-up former Gunners striker Emmanuel Adebayor, while the rest of their team-mates threw themselves into the fray with abandon.
“The two centre-backs were exceptional. I think they are one of the best partnerships in the country,” said Wenger.
“Mentally in the last three games against Everton, Bayern and Tottenham, we have had to be absolutely focused and that is where our defenders have done very well. They kept their focus for 90 minutes.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2014.
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