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Page last updated at 17:22 GMT, Saturday, 27 November 2010

Arsenal resolve impresses Arsene Wenger

Attacking Arsenal cheers Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger praised his side's character after they staved off an Aston Villa comeback to win 4-2.

Wenger's side had let a two-goal lead slip at Tottenham last Saturday and almost did the same again as they were pegged back to 2-1 and 3-2 at Villa.

"At 2-0, at half-time, you could feel what happened [against Tottenham] had an impact in their head," said Wenger.

"We could have crumbled or we could score again - and we did the latter. We got a good mental response."

Andrey Arshavin and Samir Nasri eased a dominant Gunners side ahead before Ciaran Clark pulled one back for a rejuvenated Villa.

Dave Masala

Marouane Chamakh poked in a shot to put Arsenal 3-1 up and, after Clark struck again for the Midlands side, Jack Wilshere headed in to secure a Gunners win.

"This team is very interesting because they are on the same wavelength in the way they want to play," added Wenger, whose side had followed up their defeat by Tottenham with a Champions League loss at Braga in midweek.

"But they also fight for each other. I thought we had played well against Tottenham, had a lot of possession against Braga and we responded well again [at Villa].

"You do not always lose when you dominate games and we played well.

"Villa had a good comeback in the second half but we managed to find the response to come out on top."

'Arsenal were better' - Houllier

Villa manager Gerard Houllier blamed his side's first-half display for a defeat which he hopes will provide a learning experience for the Midlands club's players.

"We were poor in the first half. Whether it was because we showed them too much respect, or lacked experience, I don't know," said the Frenchman.

"We never got started. We were a different team in the second half, showed more energy and took more risks.

"It's just a shame that when we got to 2-1 that we couldn't keep the score like that for 10 minutes because after what happened to Arsenal last week, they would have been shaky.

"Their third goal was the pivotal moment of the game but overall we were beaten by a better team than ourselves, simple as that.

"The best thing to do as a team is to learn from that and the good thing is we did get a positive reaction in the second half."

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see also
Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal
27 Nov 10 |  Premier League
Attacking Arsenal cheers Wenger
27 Nov 10 |  Arsenal
'Arsenal were better' - Houllier
27 Nov 10 |  Aston Villa

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