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Arsene Wenger's verdict: Burnley v Arsenal

Arsene Wenger has admitted he was relieved to have made it past the third round of the FA Cup following Arsenal's 2-0 away win at Burnley on Sunday.

Le Gaffer heaped praise on the home team after they gave the Gunners a hard fight and he even said that his side were a touch fortunate to come away with a result from their visit to Turf Moor.

"Burnley played well," writes Arsene in his regular email verdict on the game. "They missed the first chance with a header against the crossbar and I firmly believe that a goal then would have had a big effect on the game. At 1-0 in that atmosphere it would have been a very different game for us.

"We took our first chance through Eduardo but Burnley pushed us back a bit in the second half. We missed a few chances for the second goal and then the sending off killed the game before Nicklas Bendtner made it 2-0."

And Wenger notes that the performance of Burnley was a tribute to the Championship, which he hints may be closing the gap on quality with the Premier League...

"Burnley gave everything. They played at a high pace and in a fair way. I am surprised to see where they are in the Championship - that division must be very difficult," says Le Boss.

"What surprised me was the tempo of their game and how quickly they could pass it. I was surprised by the quality of their crosses but they could not score."

And like anyone who saw the FA Cup game, Wenger singles out Eduardo for special praise, but says he was shocked that the Croatian international missed a chance in front of goal.

"One of the differences on Sunday was the quality of our finishing. Eduardo scored one and for me the surprise of the day was that he missed the other one. You quickly get used to your players putting the ball in the back of the net. But he has scored one and had an assist for the second so the two strikers did well," he says.

With both Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor apparently struggling to be fit for tomorrow's Carling Cup clash with Tottenham, I'd expect the manager to stick with Sunday's successful strikers, where they'll both hopefully increase their individual scoring tallies.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on January 8, 2008 1:30 PM in
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