Per Mertesacker led Arsenal to victory on Sunday against Leicester in a game they needed to win to ensure they remained in the title hunt.

Benefiting, not only from three points at their rival’s expense, the Gunners also inflicted what they will hope is a significant blow to Leicester’s confidence as the race gets down to the nitty gritty.

The Arsenal vice-skipper has been under pressure recently with people questioning his ability to play at the top level – something they’ve pretty much been doing since he arrived in the country if we’re honest about it.

But Per isn’t too bothered, as he explained to the press after the game, when he was asked about the criticism Arsene Wenger has faced because of his substitutions.

“We haven’t spoken about that. We are not looking too much at the rumours and the press so we tried to concentrate and we are in a good situation,” he said.

“That is why we concentrate on ourselves and not about rumours. You said about criticism about the manager, so we don’t look at that. Every player counts and every player contributes and you could see that today.”

The win pushes Arsenal right back into the title race, just two points behind Claudio Ranieri’s side.

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“There was a drought in January with the results but we came back strongly against Bournemouth,” Per continued.

‘“We need it, if you want to challenge for anything in this league you need to win. We proved it on the pitch today and when we look at training sessions everyone is focused on what is coming up.”

Next up for Arsenal is the continued defence of their FA Cup trophy with a game against very familiar opponents in this competition – Hull.