Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal will draw strength from the manner of their rousing 2-0 Champions League win over Bayern Munich.
Having lost their opening Group F matches against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos, defeat to Pep Guardiola’s runaway Bundesliga leaders would have all but ended Arsenal’s hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of Europe’s Premier competition.
Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott came close to opening the scoring before the hosts were forced on the back foot for long periods after half-time.
Wenger’s men weathered the storm and emerged with a 77th-minute opener from substitute Olivier Giroud following an uncharacteristic error from Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Ozil sealed the points in the dying seconds of a game in which Arsenal were restricted to 27 per cent possession.
“Overall we have beaten a very strong team. We kept a clean sheet as well,” Wenger said at the post-match news conference.
“The team focus and dynamic was there. Tonight we showed we needed that.
“It can strengthen our belief and those around us. It is important we have good balance between attacking and defending.”
Wenger hailed Giroud as “a winner” following the France international’s decisive impact three minutes after replacing Walcott, but he also reserved praise for Hector Bellerin – the full-back coming through the at-times gruelling assignment of marking the dazzling Douglas Costa to set-up Ozil’s stoppage-time goal.
“It was an interesting fight between Costa and Hector,” Wenger added.
“He has that desire to be on top of his opponent.”