Wenger admits fear of Arsenal mental collapse

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Monday's victory over West Brom was vital to prevent another mental block from derailing their title hopes.

Olivier Giroud's header in the 86th minute secured a 1-0 victory for the Gunners that kept them within nine points of Premier League leaders Chelsea, who beat Bournemouth.

Wenger admits that the win was "a big relief" given the back-to-back defeats away to Everton and Manchester City that had threatened to see them drop out of contention for top spot.

"It could have been a 0-0 and sometimes you have to accept that," he told Arsenal Player.

"But I believe we were relentless, we were composed, we didn't rush our game, we didn't panic and we didn't make a mistake at the back.

"For us it was mentally vital to win the game and that's why I believe it was a big relief. Because you could see that mentally we are not used to losing games. It could have become a block a little bit, so it was good to get that out of the way."

Giroud's clever header from Mesut Ozil's cross proved the difference at the Emirates Stadium against Tony Pulis' resilient side and Wenger was full of praise for his striker.

"I like these kind of goals because it's heading technique," he said. "It's not just heading it with strength, it's just doing the right movement. Olivier did well, congratulations to him."