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Injury-time leveller doesn't dent our chances says Arsenal boss Wenger

PUBLISHED: 18:50 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:30 07 September 2010

Arsene Wenger was left disappointed after Arsenal conceded an injury time equaliser as their seven game winning run ended in Alkmaar on Tuesday night. Dutch champions AZ snatched a point when David Mendes da Silva volleyed home from close range after a lo

Arsene Wenger was left disappointed after Arsenal conceded an injury time equaliser as their seven game winning run ended in Alkmaar on Tuesday night.

Dutch champions AZ snatched a point when David Mendes da Silva volleyed home from close range after a long free-kick was headed down by substitute Graziano Pelle.

Arsenal, who had taken a 36th minute lead through skipper Cesc Fabregas, had been just seconds away from becoming only the second side in 35 European games to win in Alkmaar.

Wenger looked frustrated at the final whistle. He said: "In the last five minutes of a Champions League match, anything can happen.

"They threw everything forward and felt they could only score on a set piece, and that is what happened.

"It is frustrating because we looked closer to scoring a second than conceding, but credit to them, they did fight well and went until the last minute."

The Gunners remain top of Champions League Group H and will secure qualification to the knockout stages next month if they beat AZ in the return at the Emirates.

"We are still in a strong position. We have three games left, two at home, and I believe to win one game will qualify us," said Wenger.

Defender Thomas Vermaelen added: "Last time they (AZ) played here they lost in the last minute, now they get a point in the last minute.

"It feels a bit like a defeat, I think AZ were a little lucky."

AZ boss Ronald Koeman looked relieved at the end, although his side remain winless after three games.

"We never lost the spirit," he said. "I am very happy about the result and the performance of the team.


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