A second half goal and assist from Aaron Ramsey won Arsenal all three points against Sunderland on Saturday.

Returning to the middle of the park in the absence of Santi Cazorla, Ramsey exerted a huge influence on the game as the Gunners controlled throughout and ended a run of three Premier League game without a win.

“It was very important to get the win after losing one game and drawing another,” Ramsey said after the match.

“It was important to get back to winning ways and close the gap on the top and it was nice to do it at home in front of the fans.”

Earlier in the day, Manchester City had lost away at Stoke City while Manchester United also dropped points on Saturday.

After failing to capitalise on bad results for other clubs in recent weeks, it was important that Arsène Wenger’s side made amends with the league so tight at the top. The win sent Arsenal up to second, above both Manchester clubs.

Leicester top the table, two points ahead of the Gunners, but have a tough run of games coming up.

“It is really close at the moment,” Ramsey added. “Teams are taking points off each other so it is going to be tight all the way through and it is important to keep ourselves in the race for this busy time and into the New Year and it was a good way to start ahead of December.

“It is quite a surprise Leicester are there but full credit to them, they have been exceptional but it is important for ourselves and what we have done today.”

A big win at a big time, Arsenal are back on track.

Next up is a crucial Champions League game against Olympiacos and, after a good weekend, spirits will be high.