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Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round

Wenger salutes 'special' side

Arsene Wenger urged his Arsenal side to trust in their quality after a 5-2 derby win took them above Tottenham in the table.

Last Updated: 18/11/12 at 08:23 Post Comment

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Recent defeats to Norwich, Schalke and Manchester United saw confidence plummet at the Emirates, and another difficult afternoon appeared on the cards when old boy Emmanuel Adebayor put Spurs ahead.

But the striker was sent off for a high challenge on Santi Cazorla - "not rose, not yellow - red", according to Wenger - and Arsenal raced into a 4-1 lead before coming through a second-half wobble to match February's derby scoreline.

Wenger said: "We came back into the game and got what we wanted, which was to win. It is not always easy against 10 - we have won games with 10 men.

"I thought it could become even more difficult because they could have dropped back and waited for us, but we had the quality and movement to play through their lines and create chances.

"There were some outstanding individual offensive performances. In the second half you could see that the confidence was not completely still there, I hope that this result will help us.

"Because we are a team who likes to go forward, when the confidence drops, your game suffers straight away. It was important for us to get back into some positive results, to get back to our level.

"This team has something special - they want to do well and they have quality. We have to find stability in our expression and we need some more time to work on that, but there's something special in the team."

Wenger laughed off opposite number Andre Villas-Boas' claim that Spurs were outstanding throughout, saying: "If our opponents are in control from the first to the last minute and we win 5-2, then I don't mind too much."

Arsenal's final goal came from Theo Walcott, who started a league game for just the third time this season as talks over a new contract continue.

Wenger said: "I believe he is doing very well. I haven't changed my mind on him. I always said I want to keep him and we try to find an agreement.

"We haven't found it yet but we'll continue. He doesn't play like somebody who wants to go and I don't behave like somebody who wants him to go, because he plays."

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