Sunderland boss delighted with win over Arsenal

Bruce hailed his side’s spirited display in the game where Darren Bent scored the only goal.

“It’s always nice to beat one of the big top-four,” Bruce told Sky Sports after the match.

“It was the manner of it for me; we’ve been playing well of late but haven’t really got the bounce of the ball.

“We’ve played well against Tottenham – didn’t get anything, we’ve played well against Aston Villa in the cup and lost on penalties and we’ve played West Ham here and drew 2-2 with 10 men, which we could have won as well.

“I’ve been delighted with the performances and we’ve seen another one today which was full of spirit and full of life and it was very, very pleasing to see.”

He added: “I think it’s important, against them, that you’ve got to make sure that you match them in the middle of the park.

“With such a fluid team they’ve got and players that want to try and beat you, I think that was the most important thing – we’ve stifled them in the middle of the park.

“It’s OK to have a game-plan, you’ve still got to go out and do it and to be fair to all of them they’ve stuck to the task and, in my opinion, deserved the victory.”