Arsene Wenger delighted with Arsenal performance

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The Independent Football

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed a "fantastic" performance after his team proved the weekend's big winners in the Barclays Premier League title race.

The Gunners claimed a hard-fought 2-1 win at Everton yesterday to move up to second while the teams around them - Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City - all dropped points over the last two days.

Arsenal are now just two points behind leaders Chelsea and, while Wenger is not thinking in title terms, he feels his team demonstrated important qualities at Goodison Park.

The long-serving Frenchman said: "It was a good overall performance - we were disciplined, determined, focused.

"We looked a really together team and that is an ingredient you need to win at Everton.

"It was a great performance against a very strong side.

"You have to give credit to Everton - they are a very good team.

"They will come up in the table and I expect them to challenge in the top six.

"To win away against a top-six side is always fantastic."

Goals from Bacary Sagna and Cesc Fabregas either side of half-time proved decisive for Arsenal.

Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh both spurned glorious chances to add to the lead but Everton had a number of clear-cut chances themselves.

Tim Cahill headed over early on and Jack Rodwell, making his first appearance in 11 weeks, missed the target from in front of goal.

Jermaine Beckford, Steven Pienaar and Louis Saha all brought great saves out of Lukasz Fabianski before Cahill finally did strike in the last minute.

It came too late to avoid defeat but Everton could also bemoan some controversial decisions from referee Howard Webb.

Pienaar was denied an apparent free-kick on the edge of the box and Sebastien Squillaci was fortunate not to be sent off for felling Saha, who also struck a shot against Alex Song's arm.

Wenger added: "We could have scored more but we did hang on a bit at the end. Overall I would have settled for 2-1.

"The two goals were good and we had other chances but what I would like to keep is the unbelievable focus and determination of my team."

Despite his side's chances and contribution to an entertaining game, Everton boss David Moyes felt his team deserved little from the match.

The loss ended the Toffees' seven-match unbeaten run and left them 13th in the table.

"We didn't play well enough to win the game," said Moyes, who also played down any refereeing controversy.

"They didn't do enough to get in front of us and we didn't do enough to get in front of them but they got the vital first goal.

"The killer blow was to score a second goal just after half-time before we had chance to mount any pressure."