Arsenal can handle title pressure, says Mertesacker

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has insisted that his side have proved that they can handle the pressure of making a sustained challenge for the Premier League title, Sky Sports is reporting.

Victory over Aston Villa on Monday meant that Arsenal went back to the top of the Premier League, where they lie a point clear of nearest rivals Manchester City. It is a run which has inspired Gunners fans to believe that their side could win their first silverware since 2005.

And after they were able to take three points after seeing all of the teams around manage to do so before them, Mertesacker believes that reinforces their title credentials. He said: “We look at ourselves and think we are good enough to respond to any challenge others give us. It is always harder to play on a Monday night, especially as all the teams at the top also won.

“No-one dropped any points at all, so there was a bit of added pressure. The team could definitely feel it, but we responded. Away from home, people may have been expecting us to drop points but we just kept going.

“We went back to the top of the league. And that was important, because it let the other teams see that Arsenal are still alive and able to respond to anything. They gave us a big task by winning but we also gave them a good idea of what this Arsenal team is about.”

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