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Wenger thrilled with courageous Arsenal comeback

His side came from 2-0 down, having had a man sent off, to win 3-2 and re-ignite their faltering Barclays Premier League title bid.

Victory lifted the Gunners back into second, two points above Chelsea who play on Sunday, and ended a run of five matches without a win which appeared to have derailed their challenge.

"I can't remember a better comeback than that - to be 2-0 down, with 10 men and win 3-2 with just half an hour to go is a great credit to the team," said Wenger.

"I am very proud of our performance because we got a big blow last week (losing to Chelsea) but responded well.

"The first half we didn't play badly but everything went against us.

"Not only was their first shot on target a goal but we had a player sent off and just before we go to half-time they score a second one which was a big blow.

"The last 30 minutes we had chance after chance and in the end we were a bit lucky on the third goal but we did absolutely everything to win the game and we got a very important victory for us."

The Gunners looked dead and buried at half-time, trailing 2-0 and with10 men.

Matthew Taylor had headed in Gretar Steinsson's right-wing cross in the 14th minute before Abou Diaby was dismissed for a reckless challenge on Icelandic right-back Steinsson.

When Taylor's 42nd-minute shot deflected off William Gallas and past Manuel Almunia it appeared the Gunners' six-year wait for a win at the Reebok would continue.

However, Arsenal sparked into life after the 60th-minute introduction of leading goalscorer Emmanuel Adebayor.

The unmarked Gallas poked home a corner before Robin van Persie equalised from the penalty spot after Gary Cahill had brought down Alexander Hleb.

Seconds from time Hleb's run and cross from the left was deflected across the six-yard area and then took another, crucial, touch off Jlloyd Samuel to roll into the net.

Wenger had no complaints about the sending-off, although he defended Diaby by saying the challenge was not malicious.

"I was not upset with the sending-off because his foot was a bit high," he said.

"I feel it was more a protective tackle than an aggressive one but he was too high - I don't complain."

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Tribal Football Staff

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