Arsene Wenger says Arsenal earned the right to beat Manchester City because they delivered a collective performance full of spirit.
First half goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, both courtesy of Mesut Ozil assists, put the Gunners in a commanding position at half time and even though City rallied in the late stages through Yaya Toure’s stunning 82nd-minute strike they held on to close the gap on top side Leicester City to two points.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, the boss hailed his side’s courage: “I believe it was a very intense game going from one side to the other at a very high pace.
“Both teams gave everything and on our side I believe that we’ve shown spirit, organisation, brilliance and all together they gave us the three points.
“You can see there’s an exceptional life in this team and when we had not the legs anymore we relied on the spirit and that got us through in the end.
On winning the title, he continued: “Every win strengthens your belief. When it’s a big game like that even more so.
“What we want is to take care of our performances and of our spirit because, as I told you, I think we have something really special there and [we want to] keep our desire to improve. You realise you earn the right to win in these games and that’s what we did today.
“[A collective performance] is exactly what we got. You could see when the legs went, Ozil was sick all week but they still keep going. Campbell finished very tired, but they still keep going. That’s fantastic to see.”
“Our belief is stronger. We have played with many, many very young teams [in the past] and we have a bit more maturity in the side. You could see in these games it comes out. When we were under pressure we could deal with it.
“I believe as well we are very ambitious. You see this league is very difficult, so that makes you cautious as well. Today we did alright, let’s now manage to get the resources out again on the 26th [December, against Southampton].”
The boss also reserved special praise for midfielder Ozil, who took his total tally of assists for the season to 15 – six more than any other player in Europe’s top leagues.
“I’m long enough in this game to know that to find his quality you have to drive a long way.”