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Dec 29, 2013

Wenger relieved with scrappy win

Arsene Wenger admitted he was a relieved man after Arsenal went back to the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Newcastle. Olivier Giroud's 11th goal of the season ensured the Gunners would start 2014 at the summit but it was in reality a scrappy win.

- Mangan: Gunners win ugly

The Magpies pushed hard at the end and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny blasted a clearance straight at Loic Remy which saw the ball run just wide of the post with time running down.

Wenger told Sky Sports News: "We were quite in control. After that we subconsciously only wanted to defend.''

The Frenchman though underlined the more physical qualities Giroud brings to north London, saying: "That is what you need in a team. He has these qualities, that of course is very important. We are small and technical... so to have a player up front to counterbalance that is important.''

Wenger also ruled out a renewed bid for midfielder Yohan Cabaye during the January transfer window.

Cabaye, 27, was subject to a 10 million pound bid from the Gunners in the summer that was instantly rejected by the Magpies and described as 'derisory'. Once again linked with a potential departure from Tyneside in January, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew recently spoke of his desire to keep Cabaye and Wenger won't be returning for him anyway.

"No, we don't look for midfielders [in January]," Wenger said. "Today we did not have [Mesut] Ozil, we did not have [Aaron] Ramsey who stayed at home, but we still had three good midfielders and I still had Arteta on the bench. There is no real need in there [for Cabaye]."

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