Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 2: Jack Wilshere shows his A-game as Arsenal resist spirited fight-back at Villa Park

Gunners manager hails midfielder after seeing his side return to the top of Premier League with 2-1 win over Villains

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger said that Jack Wilshere is back to his best after the Arsenal midfielder scored one and made another in his club's 2-1 win over Aston Villa tonight that takes the north London club back to the top of the Premier League table.

Wenger said that he did not know whether Wilshere's goal celebration was a tribute to his son Archie - "I do not speak that language," the Arsenal manager joked - although he observed that the Englishman had now got back his acceleration after a long struggle with injury.

Wenger said: "Jack has found his change of pace back, and his penetration. His game is about that. He's not only a passer, he's a guy who's incisive with the ball. That's his strength, and for that you need to be at the top of your game physically. You can see it when he's training well physically. He's coming back to his best.

"We had to give a strong response. Everybody was looking to see if we would drop points because they claimed their points over the weekend. You're always under a bit more pressure when you play last as you know you cannot drop any points. You can only give one answer, which is to win the game. I like the fact that we're mentally ready for a fight."

Substitute Tomas Rosicky suffered what looked like a broken nose after a clash with Gabriel Agbonlahor in the second half. There are also fears that Nacho Monreal could have broken a metatarsal bone and will be examined tomorrow. However, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his long-awaited return from injury.


Wenger said: "Rosicky has a bad nose. I don't know if it's broken or not, but it looks bad. It was an elbow, but I didn't see it honestly. Tomas told me it was an elbow, but he doesn't know if he did it on purpose. Monreal was an accident, but we have to check his metatarsal in the morning. He got kicked on the top of the laces.

"It was a big win for us tonight. There were two very different halves. The first half was about us playing our game - the speed of our passing and control of the game - and the second was more about fighting. It was down to a different style from Villa, who played a more direct game, and we were maybe a bit cautious to try and keep the 2-0. We kept fighting and our defenders kept us in the game. It was a nervous finish and we had to fight until the end.

"I don't know if we were too confident or too cautious. I think we were too cautious. We wanted to keep control of the game and keep it 2-0, but we lost a bit of incisiveness in our game and the ability to score."