Arsenal will celebrate Christmas in second place in the table after beating Manchester City 2-1 on Monday at the Emirates Stadium.
Theo Walcott gave the Gunners the lead in the 33rd minute and Olivier Giroud made it 2-0 right before halftime. Yaya Toure pulled one back for City in the 82nd minute, but Arsenal held on for the win. They sit in second place with 36 points, two points behind leaders Leicester City. Mesut Ozil assisted on both Arsenal goals and has 15 assists so far this season. The German midfielder is well on his way to break Thierry Henry’s record of 20 league assists during a single Premier League season.
Manager Arsene Wenger was pleased with the win, and was asked in the postgame press conference if the win sent a statement to the other teams.
“I’m not sure what sort of message that sends but for us it was a vital game,” Wenger told arsenal.com. “It is a game you come out very happy as we have shown all types of ingredients you need in these big games. Good organisation, strong solidarity, high work rate, moments of brilliance and moments where we needed to hang on because that is important as well and overall because we could kill the game and we had the chances to do it. When they came back to 2-1 we were a bit under pressure but I believe it was very intense for both teams. You had times where you had players on the ground at both sides of the pitch because of that total commitment.”