Wenger delighted with 'vital' Arsenal response at Chelsea
Arsene Wenger praised Arsenal for responding to their hammering at Liverpool with a 0-0 draw away to Chelsea on Sunday.
The Gunners ended a run of five defeats in a row at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League by claiming a point against the champions, who had David Luiz sent off in the closing stages.
Arsenal were good value for the result and had the better chances to win the match, with Alexandre Lacazette missing an open goal after Aaron Ramsey hit the post, and Shkodran Mustafi seeing a header ruled out for offside.
Wenger was delighted to see a renewed determination in the team compared to their last match away from home, in which they lost 4-0 to Liverpool at Anfield.
"I felt that was a game with intensity, with two teams going for it, battles all over the pitch, and we responded well. I like when the team shows that kind of response," he said.
"I feel it's a deserved point. With a bit more freedom we could have won this game with one or two goals' difference. But it was important we didn't lose. You could see that in the last 20 minutes.
"People forget we beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final two months ago. We've shown that quality many times.
"When you go for trophies, everyone gives 100 per cent. It's different in the championship. When you play at home, everyone expects you to win the games.
"When you deliver the kind of performance we had at Liverpool, you have to accept the criticism. You can only respond on the pitch, and we did that. Today was a question: what would happen? With the attitude and determination, it was vital for us to come out with a solid performance. We did that."
Arsenal lost 1-0 to Stoke City in their other away match in 2017-18, but Wenger does not believe their performance at the bet365 Stadium suggested they needed drastic changes.
"At Stoke, we had a very good performance on the football front, 77 per cent possession, three penalty shouts and, overall, we were a bit unlucky with the goal we didn't score," he said.
"The result was disappointing, but not the performance. What changed is, when you're a footballer, only one thing matters: the next game, and how you respond. That's what we saw."
David Luiz was dismissed in the 87th minute for a lunging challenge on Sead Kolasinac and Wenger felt it was the correct decision.
"It was excessive force, yes," he said. "Kolasinac was not completely on his feet. Even Luiz would accept there was a big distance and he went in too strong.
"After that, it's the decision of the referee. It looked to me like excessive force."