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10.11.2008 Football News

Arsenal's spirit delights Wenger

By The Statesman

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed his side's attitude after they responded to recent setbacks to beat Manchester United 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium.

The result arrested a run of three games without a win for the Gunners.

"I am very proud of the performance,' said Wenger. 'It was a fantastic game and we won against a great side, who were very dangerous going forward.

'The team was not faultless, but we were spot-on spirit-wise. Now we want consistency and to keep winning.'

Arsenal went into the game short on confidence having lost a two-goal lead against Tottenham, been defeated at Stoke and held to a goalless draw by Fenerbahce.

And Wenger admitted he was a little worried when Rafael pulled a goal back for United in the 90th minute that Arsenal could let slip another two-goal lead, given to them by Samir Nasri"s double.

'We did hang on, and they took the initiative,' he said. 'We couldn't finish the game off with a third goal and we had six nervy minutes of stoppage time.

'It was a very open game as we wanted to go forward every time we had the ball, and they did as well. It shows that football can be fantastic when two teams play like that.'

Manchester United assistant boss Mike Phelan felt his side deserved more from the match and reflected on missed chances.

'We are disappointed. We made enough chances to score a couple of gaols but that wasn't to be,' he said.

'It was a an open game and very end to end but we came out the wrong side of it. It was too open and we suffered from that.

'We put a lot of pressure on their goal and created about 20 chances. We were chasing the game at 2-0 down and it is always difficult. We didn't get the luck that we needed.

'Cristiano Ronaldo created a great opening for himself when we were 2-0 down but he put it wide of the post.

'If we had got back to 2-1 then we could have gone on top get something from the game.'