Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Wenger congratulates Van Persie

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger hailed Arsenal striker Robin van Persie after he equalled a Barclays Premier League goalscoring record in the 3-0 win at Wolves.

Van Persie netted against a 17th different team in the same season with his penalty at Molineux and he has only failed to hit the target against Manchester City and Fulham. It mirrored the achievement of former Gunners hotshot, Ian Wright, who scored against every other side bar Manchester United and Sunderland in a 38-game season during the 1996-97 campaign.

The Dutchman ended his four-game run without a goal to take his overall tally to 34 in all competitions this season, and Wenger said: "It is important for a striker, even like Robin van Persie who was not used to not scoring in the season, to find the net."

He added: "He equalled the record of Ian Wright who scored against 17 different teams out of 19 in the Premier League.

"That is absolutely remarkable in the modern game to be able to do that. I'd like to congratulate him on that. When you only have 19 teams, and your striker has scored against 17 teams, that is something sensational. He could have beaten the record if he had scored against Manchester City at the weekend."

Wolves are now nine points adrift of safety and manager Terry Connor felt it harsh for Sebastien Bassong to be red-carded for the challenge on Walcott which led to the Van Persie spot-kick.

He said: "There's definitely a tangle. The interpretation was Bassong fouled Theo. I just don't think the punishment fitted the actual crime.

"You could argue that he was the last man. The ref has no choice according to the rules but the rules look a bit harsh.

"It spoils the game for the supporters a little because they know they (Wolves) have little chance after that to come back."

As regards Wolves current plight, Connor said: There's a chance and I have asked the lads to replicate that performance for the next five games and what will be will be. If they play with the heart, spirit and determination they did tonight, I can't ask anymore."

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