Harry ecstatic, Wenger furious after pulsating eight-goal derby
Harry Redknapp was jubilant and Arsene Wenger furious after the Gunners let a two-goal lead slip in the final minutes of a pulsating north London derby last night. Arsenal led 4-2 with a minute of normal time remaining before rejuvenated Spurs pegged them
Harry Redknapp was ecstatic and Arsene Wenger furious after the Gunners let a two-goal lead slip in the final minutes of a pulsating north London derby last night.
Arsenal led 4-2 with a minute of normal time remaining before rejuvenated Spurs pegged them back with two late goals to stun the Emirates faithful and leave Spurs fans celebrating as if they had won the Premiership.
In the exchange of words afterwords, the Arsenal manager insisted, though, his side were "two levels" above the league's bottom club.
"I'm angry because we produced an outstanding game and got the minimum result," fumed Wenger, whose side moved up to third place in the Barclays Premier League despite the setback.
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"We have to look at ourselves and improve - we were two levels above Tottenham and they were there for the taking. It was damaging."
Wenger looked grim-faced at the final whistle as he shook hands with the jubilant Tottenham manager, who has seen his side take four points from his first two games in charge.
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But Wenger said Redknapp's arrival at White Hart Lane had no bearing on the result.
"With two minutes to go, there was no Harry Redknapp factor," he snapped.
"We were really superior to Tottenham, produced the game we wanted, with lots of energy.
"The only down side is we didn't win. That was down a little bit to a lack of maturity. I would like to keep the positives because I believe we were really outstanding."
Wenger also criticised his side for not adding more goals after dominating possession in the second half.
"We were too cautious rather than scoring number five or six," he added. "The right pass would have seen us score.
"We were not going forward with enough purpose and that is why we were punished.
"The maturity problem will improve with intelligence. They will learn from their mistakes.
"If you look at the number of shots compared to goals, they (Spurs) were very well rewarded."
Redknapp, however, showered his new team with praise for the comeback that made this one of the most memorable North London derbies of all time.
'I've never had a comeback like that - it looked all over. They showed a lot of character.''
The bad news for Spurs is that with Stoke beating Sunderland, they are still anchored at the foot of the table and they need another heroic performance against Spurs at the Lane on Saturday if they are to stand any chance of climbing off the bottom spot.
Ironically, Arsenal need their north London rivals to do them a big favour by taking something from the game, as Liverpool are already six points clear of the Gunners, who face a tricky trip to Stoke.