Per Mertesacker hails Arsenal spirit

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is pleased with how his side have bounced back from their defeat to Aston Villa last month.

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has hailed his teammates for bouncing back from their defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day of the Premier League season.

The Gunners went down 3-1 to the Villans at the Emirates Stadium but have since won four games in a row in all competitions, including a 1-0 home victory over North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

"You heard some things from the stand during the Villa game that we should spend money," Arsenal's official website quotes him as saying. "But [on Sunday] everybody was calm and just encouraged the team to fight.

"We played well and that's always the best answer to the rumours and the criticism. We just kept clam and did our best. The derby is always important to win and we showed that we are a good team with good spirit and we showed we can defend as well.

"The manager (Arsene Wenger) said at the start that we should believe in ourselves and in our passing game. In the first half we did that fantastically and showed we are ready for the fight for the rest of the season."

Arsenal are currently fourth in the league table with six points from three matches.

Arsene Wenger of Arsenal looks on as a fan behind makes his feelings known during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on August 17, 2013
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