Manchester City pass first real test
"There were a lot of eyes on us today, people saying it would be a proper test. We went out with the right attitude and good mentality and that shone through," manager Mark Hughes told Sky Sports.
"It was a great day for everyone connected with City. The atmosphere was magnificent and that really drew us on.
"We didn't give up that many chances and we were always a threat. We were devastating on the break, all in all it was a great team performance."
Three second-half goals in 10 minutes by Craig Bellamy, Emmanuel Adebayor and Shaun Wright-Phillips ensured victory after the teams were level at 1-1.
"It was important we made a mark today and we did that, we were good value for the win," Hughes told the BBC. "Now we have to sustain that performance from now until the end of the season."
Adebayor, who joined City for 25 million pounds from Arsenal in the summer, upset the visiting fans when he ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of them.
"To a certain extent it's understandable given the last 18 months or so, there was a lot of pent-up emotion there," Hughes said.
"But he's already apologised for it. It's an emotional game and he just let his emotions run away with him. It would be a shame if that incident overshadows what was a great game."
Adebayor, who has now scored in all four of City's league wins, told Sky Sports: "I shouldn't have done what I did but the emotion took over me and I'm sorry for what I've done. Scoring today made me feel freedom but I'm sorry, it was a big mistake and these things won't happen any more."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had few complaints about the result.
"We made some concentration mistakes and we paid for it," he said. "They were a bit sharper and in defence we were a bit shaky, some players looked tired."
The Frenchman said that City had played well but when asked if they were good enough to crack the top four, he said: "It's too early to say."