Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has praised his teammates following their hard-fought 1-0 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
The Gunners took the lead through Santi Cazorla, only for defender Carl Jenkinson to see red shortly after the hour mark. But Szczesny felt that their performance following Jenkinson's sending off was one of true character, with Sunderland relentless in attack in a bid for an equalizer.
"I thought we deserved the win and the urgency in our own penalty area was fantastic," Szczesny told the club’s official website. "Every ball that was played across, we were the first to clear it, so they [the defense] deserve a lot of credit for the way we played. I think we proved to a lot of people that we have what it takes to be successful because it wasn't the best game in terms of quality, but we showed everyone the character and desire we have to get a result.
"We are delighted with the way we won the game. You always expect a very tough game when you go up north. They play very direct football and are very strong. They had a real desire to get a result and I thought Sunderland played really well, but we stood up against it and showed character."
Szczesny was also full of praise for Bacary Sagna who played as an emergency center back.
"Bacary [Sagna] came in at center back and cleared everything that came into the box," Szczesny added. "It was difficult once Carl got sent off, and we were playing with a back four that had never played together. But I thought they all did a tremendous job."