Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini feels the team spirit made a big difference for the Gunners as they moved back to the top of the table thanks to their battling 1-0 win at Newcastle United.
The first half ended in a goal less draw but Olivier Giroud nodded in Theo Walcott’s free kick in the 65th minute to hand the north Londoners all three points.
The Frenchman was full of praise for the Gunners spirit and stated that it was important to end the year on a positive note ahead of a crucial second half of the season.
Speaking to the Arsenal official website, he said:
It was very important for us, for the fans, for the Club, for everyone because when you are on top of the league you want to stay there.
Today was a good sign for everyone to see how we can play these kind of games and work hard to go and win them.
It was a tough game. Especially to come here, to play a good team like Newcastle with a great atmosphere.
It was very difficult for us but what I enjoyed was the team spirit – everyone was working for each other and fighting for each other and that made the difference.
Arsenal’s win over Newcastle was a hard fought affair, but it showed the Gunners true title credentials. They were not exactly at their sparkling best, and despite being without some key players they picked up a valuable win. The trip to Newcastle was always going to be tricky with the Magpies in such good form but the Gunners just about scraped through.
The Gunners missed the creativeness of Ozil and Ramsey in the center of the field but the win was built on a solid defensive performance as the center back pairing of Mertesacker and Koscienly played brilliantly. Sagna and Gibbs were also very impressive and deserve due credit for their displays.
To still claim all three points from a narrow win is a sign of a really good team and Arsenal will also start 2014 at the top of the table. If they keep grinding out results like they did yesterday there is nothing to say that they will not finish there at the end of the season.
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