Arsene Wenger was proud of the character shown by Arsenal after acknowledging his side were “on the ropes” during their 1-1 derby draw with Tottenham on Sunday.
Harry Kane’s fifth Premier League goal in three games put Spurs ahead at the Emirates Stadium and Petr Cech was forced to make smart saves from Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld to keep the Gunners in the match.
Substitute Kieran Gibbs grabbed an equaliser just three minutes after coming on but Wenger insisted it would be wrong to claim his side had dropped two points in the title race.
“You can say that to [Manchester] City as well,” he said, with Manuel Pellegrini’s side having earlier drawn with Aston Villa.
“We look on a longer distance; in the last six games we’ve played five wins and one draw.
“Overall, today I’m disappointed we didn’t win the game, but if you look at the recent period as a block it can happen that you lose two points.
“We were a bit on the ropes. We responded. Every time we have a disappointment, the game after we respond well.
“When you look at the results again today you see Villa versus City 0-0, Liverpool lost [against Crystal Palace]. We played 1-1. It just shows that the championship will be extremely difficult for everybody.
“The mental qualities can have a big input in the future and I think we’ll need these qualities.”
Arsenal are level with City at the top of the table on 26 points, with Tottenham back into fifth on 21.