Arsene Wenger highlighted the "special resilience" his Arsenal players displayed in keeping Tottenham Hotspur at bay and themselves in contention for the Barclays Premier League title.

Arsenal's first win at White Hart Lane since September 2007 was far from easy - Tomas Rosicky's thunderbolt after 72 seconds proving enough in a tense north London derby, which only ended 1-0 thanks to Tottenham's wayward finishing and some wonderful defending.

The victory moves Arsenal into third in the standings and closes the gap on leaders Chelsea to four points.

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"It is a huge result," the Arsenal manager said. "We were under pressure to win before the game because of course it was very important. Our early goal maybe influenced too much how we played because we missed a second goal and after that we wanted to protect the lead and sometimes we were under pressure.

"Tottenham played well, we must say. For me, they were absolutely up for it and we needed some special resilience to get away with it. As long as we didn't score the second goal, of course, it was a very tight game."

Wenger was quick to highlight the "exceptional" centre-back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker for helping Arsenal over the line, and the result was the ideal response to the defeat by Stoke City in their last Premier League game, ahead of Saturday's visit to Chelsea.

"We are back to four points behind, we have a game in hand and we've played two away games on the trot," Wenger said. "It makes, of course, the next game a very big one."

Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood struggled to contain himself at times and at one point threw his gilet at the dugout. Despite that display of frustration and the fact his side have lost three games in a row, he praised his players' efforts.

"After going behind so early in the game, you fear the worst but they did me proud," Sherwood said. "They stuck together and took the game to Arsenal. We're talking about a team pushing for the title and they came here to counterattack, and that is a credit to us."