Belfast Telegraph

Wenger salutes dominant Gunners

Arsene Wenger felt Arsenal delivered an "outstanding" performance after Robin van Persie smashed a hat-trick in the 3-0 win over 10-man Wigan at Emirates Stadium - and maintained there was still more to come.

The Gunners took the lead through van Persie after 21 minutes and the in-form Dutchman fired in a second just before the hour. Although he then blasted a penalty over the bar after Gary Caldwell had been sent off for pulling back Cesc Fabregas, the striker duly completed his hat-trick with five minutes left to make it six in the last three games.

Wenger feels everything is starting to come together and he said: "It was a good team performance overall. The players were a bit frustrated at half-time as they did not take their chances, but during that first half, we played outstanding football."

Arsenal have responded with victories in their last three matches after losing the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final first leg at Ipswich 1-0 - a deficit they are expected to comfortably overturn at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

Wenger continued: "We feel stronger and stronger in every single game. It is interesting the chance we have in front of us because for me the way we play is fantastic to watch. Let's just keep going."

Wenger admitted he did not want to risk over-using Van Persie, who missed much of the start of the season through injury.

"It is down to us to use him in the right proportion of the games we play," he said.

"Robin handles it all right. He is intelligent but of course he wants to play."

"We will rotate, we have no choice. We play nine games in January, it's the most we have ever played.

"But we have fantastic players on the bench and it is very important because we cannot always play with the same XI."


From Belfast Telegraph