Arsene Wenger says Arsenal has rightly hit back at its critics with Saturday’s 2-0 win over Liverpool.
Goals from Santi Carzola and Aaron Ramsey helped the Gunners increase their lead to five points after Chelsea surprisingly lost 2-0 at Newcastle in the early kick-off.
“It was important to respond to convince people that we can win these big games,” said Wenger.
“To win it in a convincing way is even more important.”
Wenger’s side had lost two of their previous home matches prior to Saturday’s win. They lost 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and last week’s 2-0 loss to Chelsea in the League Cup.
But when the two top sides in the Premier League table clashed, Arsenal showed resilience and quality to maintain their fine start to the season.
Santi Carzola opened scoring with a fine first-half strike after his header struck the post and Aaron Ramsey scored his 10th goal of this campaign with a spectacular long-range effort on the hour.
The defeat puts Liverpool’s preparedness for a title challenge into perspective as Luis Suarez could only hit the post late on.
“Our defensive performance was outstanding,” Wenger added.
“We kept Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez, Steven Gerarrd and then Philippe Coutinho quiet- and for that our defenders deserve a lot of credit.”
Up next for the Gunners will be a trip to Dortmund next Wednesday and follow that with a Premier League trip to Manchester United.
Fifth-placed Southampton also visits Emirates Stadium before the end of November.
“It was vital to win because had we not won people would say ‘Arsenal cannot win the big games at home’. It is done in a convincing way and with good solidarity and focus.
“We have plenty of big games coming up and we have the ability to deal well with them,” said Wenger.
As well as leading Chelsea and Liverpool by five points after ten rounds of matches, the North London club is ahead of Manchester City and Manchester United by six and eight points respectively.
“We live in a world where we have to be questioned and the only response we can give is on the football pitch,” continued Wenger.
“I am always confident but there is a long way to go. This was an important win for the team, for the club and nobody would dispute we deserved it.”
Arsenal were without Jack Wilshere, whom Wenger revealed suffered an inflamed ankle and will need to be checked further before it is known whether he will be available for the trip to Dortmund.