WATCH: Arsenal hails “important” win to close gap; “hope Leicester slip up”


Riddled by injuries and without a win in three games, Arsenal badly needed a victory against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium.

[ RECAP: Arsenal slay Sunderland ]

That’s exactly what Arsene Wenger‘s side got, as second half goals from Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey grabbed all three point for the Gunners.

After going ahead through Joel Campbell‘s slick finish following an even slicker assist from the increasingly influential Mesut Ozil, Giroud sliced horrible into his own net to make it 1-1 at half time and hand Sunderland hope of recording a shock result.

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Sunderland did cause Arsenal’s defense problems and at the start of the second half Petr Cech made a superb stop to deny Steven Fletcher at the back post.

From there Arsenal cranked through the gears to grind out an important win which moves them up to second in table, two points behind leaders Leicester City.

“It was important to get back to winning ways, close the gap at the top and it was nice to do it in front of our own fans,” Ramsey said. “Everyone is going to be taking points off each other – it is going to be tight all the way through – and we have to try and make the most of this busy period coming up.”

Wenger praised his side for sticking to their task, Joel Campbell for putting the Gunners ahead and heading into the busy festive period he admitted his team will keep the heat on surprise PL leaders Leicester and hope the Foxes slip up.

This Premier League is a battle. You have to give credit to Sunderland who were well organised and always dangerous on the break,” Wenger said. “It could have been one of those days, but the mental aspect was good and we kept concentration. Joel Campbell also scored against Swansea has since he has come into the side his contribution is very positive. We have to keep winning games and collecting points and hope that Leicester slip up.”