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O'Neill & Wenger Match Reactions

Martin O'Neill said that Villa were 'immense' in the second half against Arsenal and added that we deserved a draw out of the game, something many Arsenal fans seem to be agreeing with.

He told the official site after the 2-1 loss in front of a full house at Villa Park (lets get another sell out next week at Pompey eh?!)

'I really thought we deserved to get at least something out of the game today. Had we got the equaliser early in the second-half when Carew hit the bar, we probably would have gone on to win it. That's of course an easy assumption to make. The fact is that we didn't take anything from the game, but it was an immense second-half, absolutely immense. We were just relentless and must have had 85 per cent of the game. Coming against a side like Arsenal who played so well in the first-half it was an amazing turnaround. That's not to say that we didn't cause them problems in the first-half, we did.'

Adding, using his favourite word, 'Arsenal are a terrific side. They pass the ball around well and keep it well. They got themselves in front and we hung on until half-time. But the second-half was just one-way traffic and I'm really disappointed we didn't get something from it. 'You could see with Arsene Wenger's celebrations on the final whistle that they were relieved.'

Arsene Wenger said:

'We were brilliant and resilient. In the first half we played some absolutely amazing football. We moved the ball quickly, were accurate with our passing in short spaces and made it difficult for Villa. In the second half, the physical contribution from Villa and the fact some of our players dropped off a little bit, allowed them back in. I felt at the end of the first half we seemed as if we weren't right on top of things and that made it difficult.'

'But this is a big result. Because of the belief in the Villa side after their recent good run, we needed something special. Maybe in the past, games like that have been our Achilles heel. But we have improved, have more experience and resilience and we panic less.'




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday December 2 2007

Time: 12:07PM

Your Comments

I like to say that I don't think Villa did deserve a draw. Now before everyone wants to rip my testicles off, let me explain. I am a firm believer of that you get what you deserve (most of the time), and I believe this for all teams, including Arsenal, so please don't think I'm having a crack here. It's my belief that if a team doesn't produce the goods to get the ball in the net, then they don't deserve anything. The only time a team deserves something is if they have a perfectly good goal ruled out or something like that. I thought Villa were mightily impressive in the second half, and offensivly easily outplayed Arsenal, but that attack wasn't good enough to break down the Arenal defence, hence Arsenal deserved the win. Had Villa gotten the goal, there would have been no arguments from me. I hope you all understand what I'm trying to say here.
Rocky7
That's suposed to say "I'd like to say" ....... I don't actually like saying Villa didn't deserve a draw.....lol
Rocky7
Viall deserved a draw and did not get the rub of the green. Very impressed with what O`neil is doing. Carew is some talent great in the air and Superb feet. He is vital to your success.Got to say Gabby was none existent yesterday was he injured?
cockeril
The Fact Is that Arsenal Are A Class Above you...!
horseworrier
Gabby was injured in the match at blackburn and was looking unlikely to play, hence poor performance. Agreed on principle with what you said Rocky7 but i think most people are saying we deserved something based on that attacking half. Who the crap is this horseworrier? Do you like to worry sheep also?
johnnyuk
I think you deserve for a hell of a lot of credit for the way you performed, very rarely do teams have a go at Arsenal, and it's even rarer that it's done as effectively as you guys did it. If you'd have done that in the first half also, you would have had all 3 points!!!!!!
Rocky7
I don't like losing matches, but if you have to, then that's the way to do it! First half was similar to Man Utd. We start well, score a goal, then get destroyed by some fantastic footbal. This time though we didn't concede the third goal and kept 11 players on the pitch. Fantastic second half effort, but full marks to Arsenal they defended superbly against some very good Villa attacking play. I was a little disappointed to read an article on Vital Arsenal critiscing Villa Park and the fact we have so many English players in our team. I am English, and proud of it. Villa Park is a traditional English stadium, and I am proud of it. We have several players in the England squad. I am proud of that. We have 5 Villa fans in our first team squad. I am delighted by that. Yes, Arsenal have a better team than us (and most), but I would NOT swap their values for ours. I love the fact we are bringing young local talent through, and are still a traditional football club rather than a 'brand'. That may be old fashioned, but I don't give a s**t, because WHEN we do get success under MON it will mean so much more.
krfeskivilla
Just read some of the comments by Arsenal fans on Villa pages, and really nice to hear sensible banter. They were not being at all derogatry like the posting I read earlier! I think everyone accepts that was a great game of football between one very good emerging side and one fantastic side. Arsenal are a pleasure to watch, especially when they are beating some one else!
krfeskivilla
krfeskivilla - The state of Villa Park was the opinion of the writer. Having never have been to Villa park I can't comment, but surely he is entitled to his own opinion? And he never criticised the amount of England players in your squad, not once. He only quoted songs sang by moking Arsenal fans who have become sick of this internatinal players debate. An the irony of Villa fans chanting "Engerland" when they're owned by an American. It's all a bit of banter mate, nothing to get upset over!!! BTW, you have every right to be proud of your team after that performance!!!
Rocky7
We probably deserved something based on our second half showing, but there has been games, and no doubt are games still to come, when we'll take points when perhaps we've been or will be slightly lucky to do so. Arsenal looked like potential Champions. They are a class act.
glensider
Horseworrier-they were only a class above for 20 minutes in the first half. After that, they were lucky to escape with their "lets hassle the ref and fall over a lot" lives.
gwyllum18
hey guys - this is the one time were we lost but i think we can walk with our heads held high. i missed the first 5 mins of the second half, and i actually thought arsenal had someone sent off in that time, cause it looked like we played against 10 men. the only sad thing is i wish we played like that in the first half. Well anyhow - lets focus on beating Man U in the FA CUP.
Pablo1978
Let's fall over alot gwyllum?? Tell that to Ashley Young ;)
Rocky7
"The Fact Is that Arsenal Are A Class Above you...! horseworrier" - No ***** sherlock!
DeanoVilla
Rocky 7 - I agree re Young. He does go over a bit to easy sometimes. Not to bad when you are at home and get the home decisions but when we're away he doesn't get much joy. Needs to stay upright a bit more methinks. Still... this has been a massive step up this year for him and no-one would have believed the progression he's made.
Gazvilla
As a Gooner I thought a draw would've been a fair result, and to be honest a draw was what I realistically expected heading into the game. The first half was one of the most amazing I've ever seen from an Arsenal side...I was literally chuckling at the way they moved the ball seemingly through people. Then the game almost does a complete 180 in the second half with Villa having us hold on for dear life. It was a big win for us, and a great response from Villa in the second half. Entertaining match all the way round, though I didn't care for the Carew "tackle" on Hleb (third time he's been cynically cut down this year, it's getting to be a trend).
Shinobi
Hleb seems to have come good for Arsenal, whereas last season he was the butt of jokes and a target for the Arsenal boo-boys. A lesson there me thinks for us Villans who are quick to direct flak at under-performing players.
glensider
 

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