Wojciech Szczesny: Arsenal were lucky to beat Liverpool

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny admitted his side were fortunate to secure a 2-1 win at Liverpool.

Szczesny saved a Dirk Kuyt penalty before Robin van Persie struck twice, the winner coming in injury time.

"We got away with murder at half-time because in the first-half we got killed all over the park," said the Pole.

"We were really lucky to come in at 1-1 but used that to our advantage, defended very well in the second half and came away with a late winner."

Prior to last weekend's victory over Tottenham, the Gunners were 10 points behind their north London rivals, who seemed assured of third place in this season's Premier League.

But their second successive win reduced the deficit to four points, with Spurs facing a difficult match at home to Manchester United on Sunday.

"It's a massive win," said Szczesny, who made a string of fine saves. "It's a little bit harsh on Liverpool because they played really well for 90 minutes but there were games this season when we deserved to win and lost."

Asked about the reaction of Arsenal fans, the 21-year-old, who joined the club's youth set-up in 2006, added: "I think they forgave us after the Tottenham game.

"There is a massive buzz around the dressing room and around the club and you could see the spirit on the pitch. We never gave up even though the odds were against us."

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger agreed that his side rode their luck at Anfield.

"We had big problems in the first half," said the Frenchman, whose team were thrashed 4-0 by AC Milan in the Champions League and also beaten 2-0 in the FA Cup by Sunderland before their renaissance against Spurs, which helped Wenger to win the Manager of the Month award.

"The luck was that it was 1-1 at half-time," he said. "I felt we were not in the rhythm of the game and were dominated by Liverpool.

"It is hard for Liverpool to lose the game. They had a very good first half and we were not in the game.

"But in the second half it was much more level. We had good chances I felt.

"It was vital for us to win. But a draw was not good enough for them. And, as long as you are not killed off in this Premier League, you always have a chance because every team has quality strikers to score a goal.

"We knew in the last 10 minutes we'd get a chance. When this goes to Van Persie you know we can get the three points.

"You can never afford to lose a player of that quality. In every game he comes up with something special."

Wenger also saluted his goalkeeper Szczesny, adding: "We had two men of the match today, one completely at the back and one completely at the front."

There will also be a further sense of relief at the club after Mikel Arteta was released from a local hospital and allowed to travel back to London with his team-mates.

The 29-year-old had been taken off on a stretcher shortly after half-time with suspected concussion and a jaw injury in an off-the-ball collision with Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson that saw eight minutes of injury time added to the second half.