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Wenger: United ghost buried
17 May 2009 - 11:05:02
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal buried the ghost of the Champions League defeat by Manchester United after Saturday's goalless draw with the newly-crowned Premier League champions.
The Gunners were soundly beaten 4-1 on aggregate by the Red Devils in their European semi-final encounter.
Afterwards, Wenger's youthful squad was rounded on by some critics as their fourth consecutive trophy-less season was confirmed.
But after Saturday's goalless draw at Old Trafford in which Arsenal carved out the clearest goalscoring opportunities, the Frenchman was in upbeat mood.
"I believe we played with a lot of heart and desire," he told the club's official website.
"When we played in the Champions League, I think we were inhibited a bit by the occasion - it was too big perhaps - and in the second leg (which they lost 3-1) we had no chance to play the game.
"Today we showed we have the quality. We played a lot of authority on the pitch.
"Man United like to play counter attack and I felt we were much sharper on winning the ball back, but have the regret that we couldn't score the goal that would have livened the game up - it would have forced them to come out.
"In the last 20 minutes they made a change to play for a 0-0."
Meanwhile, Wenger claimed their was no sinister reason behind Emmanuel Adebayor's absence from the matchday squad.
The Togo frontman has been linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium in recent days, but Wenger claimed the striker merely missed out due to injury.
"He has a small groin problem, like Mikael Silvestre," claimed Wenger. "I also wanted to see Alex Song at the back."