Feb 9, 2013 at 3pm UK at ​Stadium of Light
Sunderland
0-1
Arsenal

Cattermole (3'), Larsson (63'), Colback (76')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Cazorla (35')
Jenkinson (9'), Walcott (83')
Jenkinson (62')

Mikel Arteta hails Arsenal's battling spirit

Mikel Arteta celebrates his second penalty against West Brom on December 8, 2012
© PA Photos
Arsenal vice-captain Mikel Arteta believes that his side showed the battling spirit required to finish in the top four in Saturday's 1-0 win at Sunderland.

Arsenal vice-captain Mikel Arteta has insisted that the Gunners showed the steely determination required to secure a Champions League place in Saturday's win at Sunderland.

Arteta returned from a calf injury at the Stadium of Light and helped Arsenal hang on with 10 men to beat the Mackems 1-0 after Carl Jenkinson was sent off with 30 minutes left.

The Spanish midfielder has admitted that Arsenal are open to criticism after an indifferent campaign, but believes that they have enough quality to finish in the top four in the Premier League.

He told The Mirror: "You have to win games like that. In the last five or 10 minutes they were hanging balls into the box.

"But we defended really well and Wojciech Szczesny made two or three outstanding saves. Criticism has to be constructive. We're not as high in the table as we have the ability to be, so we know we're there to be criticised. The only thing we can do is improve where we are in the league.

"Everyone knows we play really good football at times and create a lot of chances. Hopefully from now to the end of the season we will move upwards in the league. But we showed we can battle too. It's always difficult with 10 men. I think our centre-backs and the keeper were outstanding."

Arsene Wenger's side are fifth in the Premier League table and sit four points behind Tottenham Hotspur in the final Champions League spot.

Arsenal's Santi Cazorla scores during his side's match at Sunderland on February 9, 2013
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