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Arsenal boss Wenger: Cesc just like Scholes

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger rates Cesc Fabregas in the Paul Scholes class after his goal scoring performance in yesterday's 3-1 defeat of Portsmouth.

Fabregas showed lightning reactions to fire the Gunners' second at the Emirates Stadium, raising his tally for the season to four from six appearances .

Last term he managed just four goals throughout the whole campaign and Wenger is delighted the 20-year-old has rediscovered the goalscoring touch he showed earlier in his young career.

The Frenchman said: "I made a tape of Cesc last year and you wouldn't believe how many chances he had.

"In some games he had three. When he was a young boy he scored goals. That is a nice disease to have.

"Sometimes it disappears but it always comes back when you mature physically and mentally.

"When you go into the senior game you can lose it, but if you did it in the youth team you can take advantage of positive situations anywhere."

Wenger believes Fabregas is shaping up to become Arsenal's version of Scholes, the gifted Manchester United and former England midfielder.

He said: "Cesc has a lot of the same characteristics as Paul Scholes.

"The frame, intelligence in the game, passing ability and knowing when to go into the box. He is only 20 and people forget that."

Emmanuel Adebayor put Arsenal ahead from the spot after David James had hauled down Robin van Persie for a clear sixth-minute penalty.

Fabregas made it two after Gilberto's header had been blocked by Sean Davis and Tomas Rosicky blasted the third between James and Glen Johnson.

Arsenal had to play over 40 minutes with just 10 men after Philippe Senderos was shown a straight red for blocking Kanu, who pulled one back for Portsmouth shortly after.

Wenger had no complaints with the dismissal and revelled in his side's resilience, which has been an area of concern over the last couple of seasons.

He said: "If Kanu wasn't offside then the referee had no choice but to send off Senderos.

"We gave an outstanding performance and were tested in all areas. In the second half we were tested mentally and responded well.

"Since the beginning of the season something has been happening in this team.

"They fight for each other, they have a great togetherness and love for the game. They gave a great response again today."

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Tribal Football Staff

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