Arsene Wenger is delighted with the way his side have improved defensively this season, and despite a recent injury crisis that has left Arsenal without any recognised full-backs, the manager has praised his players for their resilient displays.
There have been several contributing factors to the club's resurgence in 2011-12, not least the return of influential stopper Thomas Vermaelen - who made his injury comeback at the end of October.
A 2-1 win away at Aston Villa on Wednesday night was the Gunners' eighth win in their last ten Barclays Premier League outings - a run which has seen just nine goals conceded.
"We are stable defensively," said Wenger. "Our defensive record since the 8-2 defeat at Manchester United has improved tremendously and you could see that again.
"In the first half we were dominating well but even in the second half when we were under pressure we still kept our shape. We got away with one or two difficult situations but there is an improvement there."
Arsenal left it late to snatch victory as Yossi Benayoun came off the bench to head an 87th minute winner. Whilst Wenger was pleased to retain another three points, the Frenchman was quick to pay tribute to an impressive Villa side.
"I have to give credit to Aston Villa, they were not a lower table team with that performance, that is for sure," he added. "They have not only shown commitment and spirit but quality.
"This team can play with a high tempo and if they play like that then they will come up quickly in the table."
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