Arsene Wenger admitted his side’s scrappy 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Middlesbrough on Monday was vital as the Gunners look to revive their top four hopes, according to a statement on the club’s website (www.arsenal.com).

“It was a committed game that we needed to win. I thought in the first half it was tight because they defended very well and we were tested just after half-time because it came back to 1-1 and then we were tested mentally and we found the response we needed and that’s what we wanted. It was one of the last chances to stay in the league and that’s why we never gave up. We were riding our luck a little bit in one or two occasions on crosses, but overall we were a bit more solid defensively today,” a visibly revealed Wenger said.

Arsenal’s season seems to have imploded at a crucial juncture yet again and Wenger admitted his side’s confidence was low and the dressing room was muted: “Of course, of course. The players care. When you don’t win your confidence goes quickly and comes back slowly, so of course you could feel even in the way we played that there was nervousness there.”

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil both scored to give the Gunners an important away 2-1 win at Middlesbrough and he praised his stars, adding that they remain vital to the club’s future: “Of course. But their future, they have still one year of contract after [this season] so I don’t think there is an urgency about that. Anyway, I said that many times. You perform on the football pitch because you love to play football.”