Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was pleasantly pleased with his side's hard fought 0-0 draw against Chelsea on Sunday, as the determination on show was desperately required to rectify their recent performances on the road.
Following back-to-back league defeats away from home, Wenger was desperate for a result and attributed the closing of the transfer window - which he claims was a distraction for his squad - as part of the reason why his side were able to keep Chelsea at bay.
With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain no longer at the club and the immediate futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil now confirmed, Wenger said his players were less distracted against the Blues then they were when they received a hiding from Liverpool a fortnight ago.
Wenger told Sky Sports: "The difference is that we are not in the transfer period.
"And on the day we were not before an important international game with players going away.
"As well, we realised what we delivered was not good enough overall, but I must say we are all human beings and when you play 50 or 55 games it can happen that there's a bad performance, unfortunately.
"I believe we were focused [against Chelsea]. If we are not focused today we do not get away with a point. We were focused, determined, showed character and when we had the ball we tried to play every time.
"I think we were close to winning this game. It is a good basis to start from and go from strength to strength.
Lovey to watch Arsenal play with spirit and heart. Good game.— Arsenal FC (@FFArsenal) September 17, 2017
"You could still feel sometimes, because of what happened [against Liverpool], there was a little inhibition. With a bit more freedom, I believe we would have won the game. But it was important not to lose today. I felt that in the team in the last 20 minutes, and we played with that in our minds.
“When you deliver the kind of performance we had at Liverpool, you have to accept the criticism. You can only respond on the pitch, and we did that today. Today was a question of what would happen. With the attitude and determination, it was vital for us to come out with a solid performance. We did that.''
The Arsenal boss was asked for an update on striker Danny Welbeck who left the field in the second half due to an injury, to which Wenger confirmed he had suffered a groin injury which would not be "easy" to resolve.