Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side have responded well to criticisms, following Saturday’s win over Wigan Athletics in the semi-finals of the FA Cup at the Wembley Stadium.
The Gunners came from behind to beat the reigning cup holders on penalties with Mikel Arteta, Kim Kallstrom, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla all converting from six yards after Lukas Fabianski had saved the ‘Latics’s’ first two penalties.
“We have gone through a very, very difficult week after last Sunday (loss at Everton). We have shown the right response,” Wenger said.
“It was important to start well and our keeper got us on the confidence level in a very good way. After that we took it in a very professional and calm way.”
Per Mertesacker helped leveled scores at 1-1 after Wigan’s Jordi Gomez had opened scores few minutes after the hour mark.
Both sides failed to clinch the winner in Extra time, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was gutted to have seen his effort from 20 yards come off the woodwork.
“We needed spirit and nerve. We have shown both I think because we were 1-0 down, we came back and we couldn’t score the second goal. But overall we were spirit-wise and on the nervous front at the expected level,” he added.
“After that it’s a typical cup game that we have seen in history. The only difference is when you experience it yourself it’s difficult to go through. But we have done it well.”
The French boss was however full of praise for Uwe Rosler’s side, who knocked out last season’s losing-finalists Manchester City, on their route to a second successive appearance at the magnificent Wembley stadium.
Wenger said: “Wigan won at Man City. You don’t win at Man City by coincidence and they have shown why. We needed to be absolutely strong on the mental front and I’m happy that we have responded like that because we have been questioned on that front.”