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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Wenger praises Arsenal spirit

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger paid tribute to the 'special spirit' of his side as they climbed back into Premier League title contention with a 1-0 win over Tottenham.

Last Updated: 16/03/14 at 19:45 Post Comment

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The Gunners claimed victory in the north London derby thanks to Tomas Rosicky's rocket after just 72 seconds, with the home side going on to dominate possession without finding a leveller.

Arsenal's trip to Spurs was the latest in a line of testing fixtures which saw them overcome Everton in the FA Cup quarter-finals before exiting the UEFA Champions League against Bayern Munich.

Chelsea continue to lead the Premier League table despite their defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday, but Liverpool and Arsenal are now just four points back with a game in hand, while Man City are a further two points adrift with two additional games to play on the duo in second and third.

Wenger, who will take in his 1,000th game as Arsenal boss against Chelsea next weekend, told Sky Sports: "To go to Bayern, to come here, to beat Everton in the cup, it demands a lot of focus and a special spirit and that is what we have shown again today.

"It makes the next game very interesting. The win for Liverpool at Man Utd, and the fact that Man City won yesterday, it makes it very interesting.

"From time to time, it's important to know you cannot always be super-dominant in a season. And to win games when you're not is important."

Wenger admitted his side were not at their usual fluent best at White Hart Lane, but pointed to the impressive defensive display produced by his side to keep a clean sheet against their fierce rivals.

He added: "We absorbed a lot of pressure from Tottenham today.

"We scored an early goal, so we were protecting our lead and we didn't take advantage enough of our counter-attacks, especially in the first half.

"As long as you don't score the second goal you are under pressure. Tottenham played well, they had a very good game, and defensively we needed to be special.

"If you look at the clear-cut chances, we had better chances. They had a lot of possession today, a lot of domination. I agree we didn't have our usual possession, and that's down to their effort and commitment.

"But, as well, you have to give credit to our defensive quality."

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