Arsenal 1 QPR 0: Arsène Wenger praises improving Gunners

Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger hailed his side's attitude after Robin van Persie's goal gave the Gunners victory over QPR on Saturday

Premier League, 31 December 2011, Emirates Stadium
team1
Arsenal
1 - 0
team2
QPR

Arsène Wenger believes his side’s “formidable spirit” has helped Arsenal finish the year in the top four of the Premier League after they edged past Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

Robin van Persie settled a closely-contested game when he slotted past QPR goalkeeper Radek Cerny on the hour-mark after being slid through by Andrey Arshavin.

The victory hoists the Gunners above Chelsea and Liverpool into fourth place – and Wenger praised his players’ attitude after bouncing back from a difficult start to the season.

“I give credit to the players because we have been 17th or 18th in the league and we focused and improved as a team, with a formidable spirit in the side,” said Wenger.

“That got us where we are today. We still have room for improvement, but there a good basis there because the attitude and spirit are really great.

“When you are in a difficult situation I always said that you have to take the criticism and focus on performing better and improve.”

Match-winner Van Persie believes it was a “big day” for the Gunners as they continue their bid to secure Champions League football for next season.

“The main thing today was the win,” said Van Persie. “Manchester United lost, Chelsea lost and Spurs dropped two points, so it’s a big day for us.

“As a sportsman you want to achieve the highest and on a personal note the highest was to score three today. But after the Wolves draw, there was only one thing on my mind – to win today.”

Wenger also admitted he is likely to have to recruit a left-back in the January transfer window after Thomas Vermaelen limped out of Saturday’s game with a calf problem.

“It is serious enough for him not to play on Monday [against Fulham] or against Leeds. We now have three left-backs out [injured]. Francis Coquelin came on in this position and did quite well, but he is a central midfielder.”

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