Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed his side are showing much higher levels of maturity this season, as they continue in the quest to catch United and win the league.
Wenger’s team now sit just one place behind United, but have played a game more, after their 1-0 defeat of Stoke thanks to a Squillaci goal in the first half.
Arsenal had nearly 80% of the possession in the night, and played well despite Stokes muscular style.
Wenger was furious when the fourth official indicated there would be 5 minutes of added time played at the end of the game, but his players maturely kept the ball for almost the entirety and made Stoke players run after the ball.
Wenger see’s this season as one where his players have grown up.
He said: “We faced a tough team in Stoke who defended well. They were very compact but we were intelligent, calm, patient and overall I believe that we were resilient as well when they had their strong moments. We didn’t give in.
“I think we have matured, certainly, because we won a game tonight when we were less creative and fluent, with intelligence and calm and that is what has changed.
“One or two years ago we would have dropped points. Tonight they said they couldn’t make mistakes. We must take a lot of credit because of that.”
“This kind of wins shows that your team is really hungry for success,” he added.
“We were less sharp on the creative side but you could tell that my side didn’t want to make a mistake and that was a very positive sign for me.”