Arsenal left it late to snatch a priceless 2-0 victory over Cardiff City to begin 2014 as league leaders.

It had been a nail-biting afternoon at the Emirates stadium until Nicklas Bendtner blasted home Arsenal’s breakthrough at last after 88 minutes. And within two minutes of injury time, the Gunners were two goals ahead as Walcott added a festive gloss to the scoreline with a chipped effort.

Here were the manager’s thoughts following the 2-0 win which kept Arsenal a point ahead of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

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“We had a slow start, that can happen sometimes when you play so many games and it was important for us that they didn’t score the first goal today and to find some pace in the second half.” Arsene Wenger said.

“That is what we did and it looked like in the last 25 minutes like the goal was coming but sometimes it doesn’t, and not only does it not come but you are then caught on the counter-attack.”

“We needed resilience and intelligence not to make a mistake at the back and continue to go forward. In the end, Nicklas got us great relief.” he added.