MATCH SPY: Gunners leave it late to see off Plymouth in FA Cup battle
PUBLISHED: 13:58 05 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:45 07 September 2010
Arsene Wenger praised his side - and visitors Plymouth - after Arsenal left it late to seal their place in the FA Cup fourth round. Stand-in skipper Robin van Persie s double – and an own goal from on-loan Manchester United defender David Gray – finished
Arsene Wenger praised his side - and visitors Plymouth - after Arsenal left it late to seal their place in the FA Cup fourth round.
Stand-in skipper Robin van Persie's double - and an own goal from on-loan Manchester United defender David Gray - finished off the Devon side, who briefly made it 2-1 through captain Karl Duguid before the Dutchman netted his second of the game in the 83rd minute.
"I give credit to my team for doing the job seriously, and also to Plymouth who had a great game as well," said the Arsenal manager.
"I was surprised how well Argyle were organised and how strong they were in every challenge. They did not die physically and were always dangerous on set plays.
"The gap between the Championship and the Premiership has been reduced... you could see that."
The only minus point for Wenger saw defender Mikael Silvestre limp off during the first half with a thigh strain which is expected to keep him out of action until the end of the month.
With Gael Clichy and Kolo Toure also injured, Wenger admitted the Gunners could be heading for a mini-defensive crisis.
"It is a thigh problem," said the manager. "He will be out for three weeks, 21 days. I have to look at it but at the moment with the injuries we are a little bit short everywhere."
Argyle boss Paul Sturrock was happy with his team's performance in front of 9,000 travelling fans.
"If someone had told me that just seven minutes from the end we would be chasing the game against Arsenal, a world-class team, I would have bitten their hand off," said the Scot.
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