Arsenal manager hails Jack Wilshere after “big win” over Aston Villa
The Gunners are top of the Premier League once again, with the London side claiming a 2-1 victory at Villa Park on Monday night thanks to goals from Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud.
January 14th, 2014
Arsenal appeared to be in cruise control after scoring two goals on the half-hour mark, although a late rally from the Villans saw Christian Benteke score and set up a grandstand finish, with the Belgian having a free header which was saved.
Arsene Wenger cut a relieved figure at the final whistle and admitted it was a significant victory which keeps his team just ahead of Manchester City and Chelsea, with Liverpool six points behind in fourth place.
“It was a big win for us tonight,” Wenger said. “There were two very different halves. The first half was about us playing our game – the speed of our passing and control of the game – and the second was more about fighting.
“It was down to a different style from Villa, who played a more direct game, and we were maybe a bit cautious to try and keep the 2-0. We kept fighting and our defenders kept us in the game. It was a nervous finish and we had to fight until the end.
“You’re always under a bit more pressure when you play last as you know you cannot drop any points,” Wenger said. “You can only give one answer, which is to win the game. I like the fact that we’re mentally ready for a fight.”
Wenger was happy with Wilshere’s performance and feels that the midfielder is getting back towards his best after some indifferent form at the beginning of the season.
“Jack has found his change of pace back and his penetration. His game is about that. He’s not only a passer, he’s a guy who’s incisive with the ball. That’s his strength and for that you need to be at the top of your game physically. You can see it when he’s training well physically. He’s coming back to his best.”