Date: 12th December 2016 at 3:56am
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Manager Arsene Wenger has given his full thoughts on Saturday’s victory over Stoke City, and with the run of form Arsenal are on he’s delighted with the momentum we currently have.

Hosting the side at the Emirates Stadium for the game, Arsenal took a three one victory with goals coming from Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi and the side had to come from a goal down as well following Charlie Adams’ first half penalty.

With it being Arsenal’s third win in eight days having also topped the Champions League Group table in midweek, a delighted Wenger told the Official Site in his post game press conference, that there was plenty for him to be positive about, not least going top of the Premier League table with this victory.

‘Of course. We expected that. In the last nine games Stoke has lost one, in the last four away games they didn`t lose – including Man United. They had a convincing win at Watford. We have given a lot in the last few days at West Ham and at Basel. So we had a hesitant start, but again we found the resources being 1-0 down to win the game. And we have now had three penalties against us at home and not one of them was convincing. Despite that we came back and won the game.’

As for the week as a whole and asked about the resolve of the team, he went on to say.

‘The aim was not to get my frustration into the game and to keep our nerves and our composure, that`s what we did. We kept passing the ball and we didn`t panic, linked with the fact that we had some positive results for a while now and we have created a momentum that gives us strength to believe in our game. Look, we were not too bad last year. We finished second in the league. I believe we have improved, yes. But we have to show that on a longer term. I believe that we have created confidence, I think we are ambitious – but what is at stake is to keep urgency levels very high, humility levels very high and togetherness very high. We have to show that in every single game now. Then we will see where we stand.’

Going top of the table – level on 34 points with Chelsea but a better goals for record – he wasn’t going to get carried away although there was an obvious confidence boost from it.

‘It`s good. But let`s wait until tomorrow. At the minute there is no difference anyway with the other teams, there is Leicester v Man City, there is Chelsea v West Brom tomorrow. But we are in there. No matter what the results will be. So that`s good – we are in the fight. Psychologically it is difficult to win when you have to win, when everybody expects you to win. I believe that we want to build a momentum and when everyone expects you to win the game, you want to win it. Especially at home. When you analyse last year, last season at home we did very well against the top five and we dropped points at home against teams in mid-table. Certainly that is our challenge this year, to continue to do well against the top teams but as well in these kind of games, like Stoke today, where you have to win and we dropped some points last year.’

Questioned more about the game, he had praise for the substitutes who made an impact.

‘I have top quality on the bench – there`s not one player you can question. I must say it`s general in the Premier League. When you look at the teams we play against, even the mid-table teams, when you look at their bench, there`s top quality on the bench. They had Crouch coming on today, who nearly punished us. It could have been the 2-2 on a header.’

He also gave his thoughts on their penalty that broke the deadlock.

‘It wasn`t a penalty, because it wasn`t a foul. If every push is a free-kick, watch the game again. I don`t think that there was an attempt to make a penalty at all. There was no foul.’

The injury to Mustafi and his substitution after only 25 minutes of the game being played obviously featured and Wenger confirmed it was a bad one for the player.

‘It`s a bad one. He had nothing in midweek. I would not have played him today if he had. I had Hector Bellerin on the bench. I could have played Holding or Gabriel. He wanted to play in Basel, because he said ‘no it`s nothing`, and it was completely clear. I checked three times and there was no problem for. I don`t know why it happened, but it looks a ‘good` hamstring strain. Look, the minimum when you go out like that is 21 days. After that, today is December 10, so you are 21 days, that means he`ll have a nice Christmas!’

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