Arsene Wenger reserved special praise for Olivier Giroud after he scored a late winner in a dramatic 1-0 victory over West Brom on Boxing Day.
The France international headed home with just minutes of normal time remaining to send Arsenal back to winning ways in the Premier League.
The goal is Giroud’s sixth of the season and Wenger admitted his side struggled at times to create chances against Tony Pulis’s side.
“Overall I believe West Brom were well-organised, we passed the ball quite well and quickly but we didn’t find the incisiveness that is needed because they basically played six across in their final third. We have little pockets where you usually get in but we found it difficult today,” he said via the official Arsenal website.
“But we kept going and in the end when we couldn’t make the difference on the ground, we made it in the air with maybe the only player in our team who can do that.
“We created plenty of chances. We needed today to be patient, keep our composure in our game and not make a defensive mistake – that’s what we did.
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“They had a chance through Yacob in the second half, but overall I felt that defensively we were quite sound and we had, I thought, with 10 minutes to go I thought we could play a draw or even, if we were not intelligent, lose the game.”
The boss also praised Arsenal’s mentality after their late win and feels it shows an improved resilience about the team this season.
“I feel yes [we are more resilient] because it’s normal that I tell you yes, but we have to show that for the whole season to maintain that kind of resilience,” he added.
“At the moment there is quite a big distance between us and Chelsea and we need a special resilience to come back, but I hope that the other teams will have as well their moments of weakness and we can only take advantage of it if we continue like that.”
Arsenal certainly seem to be grinding out victories that might have eluded them in past seasons although they will know there is little room for error as they try to cut the gap to Chelsea.