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Olympics2000

Wednesday, 13 September, 2000, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Wenger's praise for defence
Arsene Wenger
Wenger felt Arsenal were dangerous in the first half
Arsenal's matchwinner Silvinho says he didn't even get the chance to see his strike that gave Arsene Wenger's side the perfect start to their Champions League campaign in Prague.

The Brazilian left-back brilliantly weaved his way past two players before lifting the ball over the Slavia Prague keeper, but he didn't see the ball agonisingly roll over the line after bouncing off the post.

"I was knocked over and did not see the ball go in. I will have to watch it on television," he said.

"But it was a fantastic feeling and a fantastic result to win away in the first Champions League match. That is very important for us.

Silvinho
Silvinho netted his third goal in three games
"I did it all with my left foot. I saw the chance and went for goal. My first duty is to defend but my manager always encourages me to get forward and go for goal when there is the space."

Wonderful

And it is a policy that Silvinho has been following to good effect with three goals in his last three games, following strikes against Charlton Athletic and Chelsea.

"It may not have been as exciting as that one against Chelsea but all goals I score are wonderful for me. I seem to be scoring all the time now and I hope it will continue."

Arsene Wenger would certainly love to see that form continue, but it was the resolute performance of his defence, away from home, that brought most pleasure to the Gunners' boss.

Dangerous

"It was a solid performance and we defended well. In the first half we were always dangerous going forward but in the second we could not come out enough," he said.

And Wenger hopes that his side have learnt from late errors that have cost them dear in previous Champions League campaigns.

"It was in our minds that we let it slip the last two years when we were in winning positions against Lens and Fiorentina. We did not want that to happen again.

"In the end it was enough. We can do better but it was a solid defensive effort and the result has got to be a success for us."

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12 Sep 00 |  Arsenal
Silvinho strike stuns Sparta
13 Sep 00 |  Photo Galleries
Sparta Prague v Arsenal - in pictures
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