Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is delighted with the steel his team are now showing.

feels much of that is down to having a settled rearguard, with the return to fitness of full-backs Kieran Gibbs - who scored his first league goal against Villa - and Bacary Sagna allowing a more balanced feel to their rearguard action.

"When we did not win games [earlier in the season], I did not feel we played as badly as people said. We have gained a lot of confidence in our play out from the back and that makes a massive difference," said Wenger, who hopes the knee problem which saw centre-half Laurent Koscielny limp out of the warm-up does not prove too serious.

"The defenders who play out from the back give us a security now and that allows the team to be much more confident."