• Arsene Wenger lauded ‘brilliant’ Arsenal after beating Manchester City 2-1
  • Hailed Mesut Ozil for defying a chest infection to inspire Gunners display
  • German star had not trained all week but registered two more assists 
  • Alexis Sanchez out until January after tweaking hamstring in training
  • City boss Manuel Pellegrini insists side did not deserve to lose

Sami Mokbel for MailOnline

Arsene Wenger lauded ‘brilliant’ Arsenal as they underlined their title credentials with victory over Manchester City on Monday night.

But the Gunners’ euphoria has been tempered by the news Alexis Sanchez has suffered a setback in his attempted return from a hamstring injury.

Goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud – both from Mesut Ozil passes – secured victory for the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium.

Mesut Ozil overcame a chest infection to inspire Arsenal to a critical 2-1 win over Manchester City

Mesut Ozil overcame a chest infection to inspire Arsenal to a critical 2-1 win over Manchester City

Alexis Sanchez has been ruled out until at least January 10 after tweaking a hamstring in training

Alexis Sanchez has been ruled out until at least January 10 after tweaking a hamstring in training

Ozil was unable to train all week but registered two assists and ran the show for the Gunners

Ozil was unable to train all week but registered two assists and ran the show for the Gunners

But they were forced to endure a nervy final 10 minutes after Yaya Toure – who was heavily criticised by Jamie Carragher after the game – set-up a grandstand finale.

Arsenal, though, stood firm to clinch a vital three points and Wenger praised his team, saying: ‘I don’t know what kind of statement it makes but for us it was a vital game. 

‘A game you come out very happy – shown ingredients you need in big games, strong organisation, moments of brilliance, moments when you need to hang on. 

‘We could not kill game and we had chances to do it and when they came back to 2-1 we were under pressure.’ 

Ozil continued his red-hot form with another vintage display and his manger added: ‘At the end of the day you need one guy who gives the ball to one who scores the goal, in our team most times Ozil is this player, the guy who sees it, makes you win and he’s that.’

Theo Walcott sumptuously whips in the Arsenal opener over the head of Mesut Ozil in the first-half

Theo Walcott sumptuously whips in the Arsenal opener over the head of Mesut Ozil in the first-half

Olivier Giroud wheels away jubilantly  as Arsenal took control of proceedings just before the break

Olivier Giroud wheels away jubilantly as Arsenal took control of proceedings just before the break

Wenger revealed the German international defied a chest infection to fire Arsenal to victory having been unable to train all week. 

‘Ozil had a chest infection this weekend and he was in bed, basically,’ Wenger said. ‘He had only one training session.

‘For a guy who could not prepare well, he has done extremely well physically. I’m a bit cautious because we lost three or four players recently.

Wenger though will be without Sanchez until at least January 10 after tweaking his injured hamstring in training on Saturday.

England forward Walcott salutes the crowd as Arsenal closed the gap on leaders Leicester to two points 

England forward Walcott salutes the crowd as Arsenal closed the gap on leaders Leicester to two points 

Arsene Wenger lauded ‘brilliant’ Arsenal as they underlined their title credentials at the Emirates on Monday

Arsene Wenger lauded ‘brilliant’ Arsenal as they underlined their title credentials at the Emirates on Monday

‘He’s had a slight setback, very slight. He was planned to be on the bench tonight.’ 

Meanwhile, Carrager in his role as a Sky Sports pundit, savaged Toure for his performance at the Emirates Stadium.

The Ivorian was largely anonymous until the final 10 minutes when his side pushed for a late leveller.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher questioned Yaya Toure's attitude in his post-match analysis

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher questioned Yaya Toure’s attitude in his post-match analysis

Carragher accused the Ivory Coast midfielder of prioritising personal glory and only trying when it suited him

Carragher accused the Ivory Coast midfielder of prioritising personal glory and only trying when it suited him

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure put in a mixed performance against Arsenal on Monday night 

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure put in a mixed performance against Arsenal on Monday night 

And Carragher said: ‘I think it’s a joke to be honest; and it wound me up that he got the goal in the end and commentary said that he ran the game for the last 20 minutes.

‘It’s like he comes alive. It’s like “oh we can get a goal, there’s a chance at a bit of glory and being involved.” 

‘You’re talking about one of your major players, one of your leaders in a dressing room; that’s unbelievably selfish that, the way he’s played tonight.’ 

City now face Sunderland on Boxing Day before a tough trip to league leaders Leicester on December 29.

Manuel Pellegrini believes his side didn't deserve to lose as they had more possession and chances

Manuel Pellegrini believes his side didn’t deserve to lose as they had more possession and chances

And manager Manuel Pellegrini added: ‘We didn’t deserve to lose. We had more possession, more clear options and more opportunities. 

‘But we made a mistake on the second goal when we lost possession with an important pass and we had take risks in the second half.

‘I am very happy with the character and the personality of the team. They never gave up.’


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