After a tight opening 34 minutes, Gunners midfielder Wilshere made the breakthrough with a scuffed finish past Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan at Villa Park.
It’s a massive three points
Arsenal cemented their lead moments later when Wilshere produced a lofted pass to Olivier Giroud and the France international calmly slotted his finish past Guzan.
Aston Villa improved after the interval, and out-of-form Christian Benteke halved the deficit in the 76th minute, but the Gunners held on throughout six minutes of injury time.
“It’s a massive three points, especially in the second half when Villa came at us,” Wilshere told Sky Sports.
“We’ve done that a lot this season – maybe drop a bit in the second half and let teams come onto us. We dealt with it well and hopefully we can continue that.”
The Arsenal midfielder praised Gunners centre-halves Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny after the pair dealt with Villa’s late aerial bombardment.
“In the past when that’s happened [come under pressure defending a lead], you could feel the nerves throughout the team,” Wilshere continued.
“When we’ve been up against it this season, we’ve got Per and Koscielny at the back – it’s not easy dealing with Benteke – but they played well tonight. Hopefully we can continue that.”
Wilshere added that Arsenal are refusing to get carried away despite their impressive form and won’t turn their thoughts to a potential Premier League title triumph.
“We’ve got to take each game as it comes,” Wilshere added.
“We know we’re top of the league. We said before tonight’s game that we could go back top.
“We’ve got a game every three days up to now. We’ve got a week off so it’s important we get our rest before the next game.”
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