Belfast Telegraph

Wenger hails Gunners backline

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was delighted with his defence after the Gunners battled to a 1-0 victory at Everton to move up to third place in the Barclays Premier League table.

The result at Goodison was the Gunners' sixth successive top-flight win and saw them leapfrog Tottenham. In their sequence of wins, Arsenal have continually shown their attacking prowess - they had hit the net 18 times in the five league matches prior to this one - and Wenger was pleased to see his team demonstrate that they also have quality at the back.

"We were resilient, focused and showed a great desire to defend - our defence played very well tonight," said Wenger.

"You have seen a side of us that normally people don't know, but it was the only way to get the result tonight I felt, and it was good to know we can do that as well.

"We defended well on crosses - something which is not usually our strong point - and overall we never panicked."

The Toffees had what appeared to be a legitimate goal chalked off in the 31st minute when the flag was raised for offside against Royston Drenthe.

Everton manager David Moyes was enraged by the decision to rule out Drenthe's effort, with replays indicating the Dutchman had indeed been onside when the through-ball was played to him to tee up his strike.

Wenger admitted afterwards that his side had been fortunate on that occasion, while Moyes expressed his belief that it had been one of several unjust calls to go against the Toffees.

"Apart from the first 20 minutes, I think we played as well as Arsenal and were really unlucky not to take something from the game," said Moyes, whose team stay 10th.

"There are five decisions that (should have been given as) onside. I wouldn't come up here and say that (otherwise) - there are five, I have checked, and that was a goal. In the last few games we have had really poor decisions against us. It was the referee's assistant tonight who got it wrong."


From Belfast Telegraph