Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: Leicester win a 'pivotal moment' for title
Arsene Wenger hailed Arsenal's dramatic win over Leicester as a "pivotal moment" that will strengthen the Gunners' belief that they can go on to win the Premier League title.
Arsenal trailed 1-0 at half-time but Danny Simpson was sent off and, after Theo Walcott had equalised Jamie Vardy's penalty, Danny Welbeck's header in injury time gave Wenger's men a crucial victory that cut the gap to leader Leicester to two points.
"It was a pivotal moment today because the mathematics meant it could be eight points or it could be two points. That is a great change," Wenger told the BBC after the game.
"There's a long way to go, we play a lot of big teams. But we had a bad spell where we couldn't win for four games and have now won two on the bounce. We have come out of that bad spell and still have a good chance."
Both Wenger and his counterpart Claudio Ranieri had complaints about referee Martin Atkinson after the game. Wenger said Leicester's penalty -- after Vardy seemed to initiate contact with defender Nacho Monreal -- was "very harsh" while Ranieri said Simpson should not have been given two bookings for the fouls he committed.
But in the end, Wenger was left praising his team's spirit in pushing until the end.
"It will strengthen our belief that we are in the fight," Wenger said at his news conference. "We came back with relentless energy... it came down to the mental desire of the team."
Ranieri, meanwhile, said the decision to send off Simpson decided the game but praised his team for a "fantastic match."
"I don't know if in a normal match that our two yellows cards was a sending off. They were normal fouls, but not yellow cards," the Italian said. "I think the referee was too severe to us for the sending-off. 11 vs. 11, I'm sure we win the match. The match was full of fouls so why send off a player? Come on."
Wenger said the entire team was chanting Welbeck's name in the dressing room after the game, and was full of praise for the England forward who made his first appearance since April after a 10-month injury layoff.
"Danny Welbeck is a great player and everybody is extremely happy for him," Wenger said. "He is a great guy, with a great mentality. He worked extremely hard [to come back]."