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Once labelled a joke now being hailed, the Arsenal defence

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed his defenders after his side’s 1-0 win at Everton moved them to third place in the Premier League table. Wenger’s men are now massive odds on to finish the season in the top four after six successive league wins took them above north London rivals Spurs.

Wenger was pleased with the way his side defended against sustained Everton pressure, in a game they may well have lost earlier in the season.

“We were resilient, focused and showed a great desire to defend – our defence played very well tonight,” said the Frenchman.

“You have seen a side of us that normally people don’t know, but it was the only way to get the result tonight I felt, and it was good to know we can do that as well.

“We defended well on crosses – something which is not usually our strong point – and overall we never panicked.”

Wenger could have also hailed the performance of the official who disallowed a goal that was clearly onside, but then that would have spoilt the praise for the defence.

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