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Arsene Wenger brands Newcastle United game "hard work" 

Arsene Wenger has admitted that his team needed to "dig deep" to overcome Newcastle United in Saturday's Premier League clash at the Emirates.

The league leaders struggled to find their best form for long stages of the fixture in London, but a late Laurent Koscielny header saw the Gunners record all the points against a sturdy Newcastle outfit.

Wenger has conceded that his team were far from their best, but insisted that the points were ultimately more important than the performance. "It was hard work, but we prepared ourselves mentally.

We were not at our best but we had to dig deep and we can do that when needed. If you are down there then those are the matches you lose but they will not stay down there - they are a good team," Wenger told BBC Sport.

"It was about solidarity, tired legs and taking a chance from a set piece. We were not at our best today, but over Christmas in four games we took nine points so we can look back and say we did 75% of our job as we lost at Southampton."

Arsenal have stretched their lead at the top of the Premier League table to two points. 


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