Saturday, 8 January 2011


Arsene Wenger admitted it would have been a real ``shocker'' had Arsenal crashed out of the FA Cup as a last-minute penalty from captain Cesc Fabregas denied Championship side Leeds a famous victory at Emirates Stadium.

It had looked as if the Gunners were set for a third-round exit for the first time since 1996 after Robert Snodgrass' penalty early in the second half.

However, with just moments remaining, substitute Theo Walcott was tugged back by Ben Parker, and Fabregas stepped up to blast the spot-kick past Kasper Schmeichel, who had been in superb form.

``I must say at first that it was a very difficult game because it was a real cup game and Leeds were up for it, they played well,'' said Wenger. ``It was the kind of game where you felt that it was important not to go 1-0 down. When we were 1-0 down I felt that Wojciech [Szczesny] kept us in the game with a good save from [Luciano] Becchio's header.

``We looked like we would come back, but we were short of time and it was important to keep the momentum and not to go out because that would have been a shocker.''

Wenger continued: ``Even when we equalised we still had three chances at 1-1, but we couldn't take them. At least we are still in the Cup and hopefully we can do it at Leeds.''

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