Arsene Wenger hailed a “very significant win” for Arsenal at Everton and insisted his side are very much in the Premier League title race.
The Gunners had been written off in some quarters after a run of three league games without a win, but they were much too strong for the home team at Goodison Park on Saturday and goals from Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi secured an impressive victory.
Wenger told BT Sport: “We are still in it [the title race] in our minds and mathematically, yes, and we want everyone to be behind the team to give us a chance. We are ready for a battle.
“Why should it be a two-horse race with one team [Tottenham] three points in front of us? Let’s focus on performances and after that we will see how we finish.”
Wenger hinted he was disappointed with those that had questioned his players’ mental fortitude at the end of a week that saw them perform well in a 3-1 defeat at Barcelona in the Champions League.
He added: “It was a very significant win for us and a mental test. We continued the level of performance against Barcelona. Our performance was top class. Our legs went a bit in the second half – we had to be in front at half-time because the players had put in 100 per cent at Barcelona.
“Mentally again the team responded.
“Honestly, I was very disappointed because the team did not get the support mentally. This team is outstanding. I have managed many teams and this group is outstanding.”
The win moves Arsenal three points behind second-placed Tottenham, who play AFC Bournemouth on Sunday.
Wenger said: “You know how tricky every game is in the Premier League but we will bet on our consistency and hope we have some luck with other results.”