Arsenal looked set for a difficult afternoon when Leroy Sane sprinted clear and gave City the lead after five minutes, but Wenger’s men steadied the ship.
Theo Walcott poked in an equaliser and, while parity lasted only 131 seconds, Sergio Aguero restoring City’s advantage, Shkodran Mustafi headed home eight minutes into the second half to pull the home side level.
A draw suited neither team. Arsenal remain seven points adrift of City in fourth, albeit having played a game fewer, while Pep Guardiola’s team sit 11 points behind league leaders Chelsea.
But for Arsenal, after crushing losses to Liverpool, West Brom and Bayern Munich last month, the result at least restored some confidence.
“Mathematically, it’s not the best operation today, not for City and not for us. But we have the confidence gained and we have to restart now,” Wenger said.
“We started with a high level of anxiety and were punished straight away. Overall I felt it was a mental test and overall you could see the team was touched on the confidence front. The fluency of our game suffered.
“We have shown great mental resource. The worst time in a football game to concede is just before half-time. On top of that, we lost (Laurent) Koscielny and in the second half we came back to 2-2.
“Overall it will help us to build confidence because the players certainly showed some mental strength and that will help us to come back to our natural fluency.”
Arsenal had to do without Laurent Koscielny in the second half after the defender suffered an injury to his Achilles and was replaced by Gabriel.
Wenger was unsure about the extent of the damage to Koscielny but said Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey could be available for Wednesday’s game at home to West Ham after both...