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Saturday, 15 February, 2003, 16:30 GMT
Wenger enjoys Cup win
Sylvain Wiltord's goal made sure for Arsenal
Sylvain Wiltord's goal made sure for Arsenal

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger paid tribute to his team after the 2-0 victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round.

The Gunners out-fought Sir Alex Ferguson's side and won with goals in each half from Edu and Sylvain Wiltord.

"I think we controlled the game and the result is a consequence of brilliant spirit and a brilliant performance," Wenger told BBC Sport.

Arsenal struck just moments after United winger Ryan Giggs had missed an incredible open goal.

The only good thing about bad results like this is that it eases the programme a good bit for us

Sir Alex Ferguson

"There was one turning point when Giggs had his chance at 0-0," Wenger conceded.

"But even if he had scored, I'm not convinced we would have lost the game, because on the bench we always felt that we were dominating the game and could create chances."

Wenger added: "It means that this team is tremendous. But it strengthens our belief and confidence - and that's important because we have big games coming up."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson criticised Arsenal's players for "hounding" referee Jeff Winter during his side's 2-0 FA Cup fifth round defeat.

Commenting on a stormy opening to the tie, Ferguson claimed: "I didn't think the Arsenal players handled the referee well.

"They were surrounding him in numbers and it just creates havoc."

Ryan Giggs missed an absolute sitter
Ryan Giggs missed an absolute sitter
Ferguson admitted Giggs' glaring miss was costly.

"We were unlucky because Giggs had done the hardest thing in getting round the keeper and the defender but couldn't finish it.

"And then at 2-0 down it was always going to be difficult. They just sat and counter attacked after that and credit to them."

Ferguson is hoping the Gunners have not gained a psychological advantage over United in the race for the Premiership title.

"It's up to us to do something about that. The only good thing about bad results like this is that it eases the programme a good bit for us."

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"We felt we were always dominating"
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"We wanted a good cup run"

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