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The Gunners boss was full of praise following the progress made by his back line since August, while also backing Aston Villa to climb up the Premier League table.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hailed his side's defensive improvement since its 8-2 hammering by Manchester United in August.

Following the Gunners 2-1 win at Aston Villa on Wednesday, the north London side has now recorded eight victories in the last 10 league games, conceding just nine goals, a statistic which has buoyed the Frenchman.

 “We are stable defensively," he told the club’s official website. "Our defensive record since the 8-2 defeat at Manchester United has improved tremendously and you could see that again today. 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.”

Wenger also praised the performance of Alex McLeish’s side, and feels if Villa continues to perform like it did in the clash at Villa Park the team will quickly move up the Premier League table.

“I have to give credit to Aston Villa, they were not a lower table team with that performance, that is for sure,” he told the site. “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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