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Saturday 27 October 2012

Wenger relieved at morale-boosting Arsenal win

Frenchman grateful for confidence-boosting win; Brian McDermott hails Reading resilience

Mikel Arteta prods in Arsenal's late winner against Queens Park Rangers

Arsene Wenger cut a relieved figure after his Arsenal side completed a narrow victory against Queens Park Rangers courtesy of an 84th-minute Mikel Arteta strike that ended a run of two consecutive losses that left "confidence jaded".

ARSENAL 1-0 QUEENS PARK RANGERS #ARSQPR

"I am very happy with the result because we lost two big games in our head, and the confidence was a bit jaded," said Wenger. "We were serious, we moved the ball quite well and we needed to be patient today. It is a QPR team with quality, I don't think they will stay at the bottom."

"I am very happy with the result because we lost two big games in our head, and the confidence was a bit jaded"
Arsene Wenger

"We were a bit lucky that they lost a player, because it made it easier for us in the last 20 minutes. But overall we played a serious game against a good team."

The visitors remain bottom of the Barclays Premier League and in search of their first win, but manager Mark Hughes remained sanguine after causing the Gunners problems throughout the match.

"Prior to the sending off I was actually making a positive substitution because I thought we looked the most likely to win the game," he said. "We played really, really well against a good Arsenal side who, given their last couple of results, were looking for a really positive performance.

"We worked to our game plan really well. From our point of view it's a very good, professional away performance but once again we haven't got any reward for it."

READ MATCH REPORT >>

WIGAN ATHLETIC 2-1 WEST HAM UTD #WIGWHU

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez was particularly delighted with his goalscoring summer signing Ivan Ramis, whose thunderous goal set his side on the way to a 2-1 victory against West Ham United.

Wigan enjoyed their second win of the season with an impressive display against West Ham after centre-back Ramis opened the scoring with a volley from a corner, while James McArthur's second-half effort rendered James Tomkins’s late effort for the Hammers a mere consolation.

"We'll have to play against West Ham more often," said Martinez. "It was as clean a contact as you're going to see, it was a striker's strike.

"I'm pleased with that but I'm even happier with Ivan Ramis's performance, what he did off the ball, the way he was talking with the others. I think he's developing his communication skills quite quickly and he was a real leader."

West Ham have only suffered two defeats since returning to the Barclays Premier League this season, but manager Sam Allardyce was certain Wigan’s experience has helped them through.

"We might have had a better start than Wigan but we've only just got here [to the Barclays Premier League] and we can only go out and give 100% to get a result," said Allardyce. "Any less than that you get punished at this level.

"Their technique was 10 times better than ours. Our technique on the ball was ridiculously poor today. The one thing that's got us where we are is our technique has been very good in possession. Today was a real blow and a real shock."

READ MATCH REPORT >>

READING 3-3 FULHAM #RDGFUL

Reading manager Brian McDermott praised his side’s resilience as they battled back from conceding a late Dimitar Berbatov goal to earn a dramatic 3-3 draw against Fulham.

The visitors looked to have taken all three points when Berbatov put his side 3-2 up with minutes to go, but a late strike from Hal Robson-Kanu rescued a point for McDermott’s winless side.

"I thought we would win it at 3-3 because we had a couple of little chances," said McDermott. "But at 3-2 down you'd take the point at that stage."

"My players keep going, even when they're behind and that's really good for the future. We keep on going.

"I spoke to the players and said what people will talk about is the win, but the important thing for us was to play the game. The win will come, that's not an issue."

For Martin Jol, the late equaliser was a difficult pill to swallow, even if he was pleased with his side's improved attacking intent in the second half.

"Without playing well they scored a great goal,” said the Dutchman. "In the second half we did exactly what we wanted to do – created chances and scored goals.

"If you score three goals against a team like Reading, you should have done enough to win. I thought Berbatov had scored the winner, but maybe we need to be a bit cleverer and not give away that late free kick."

READ MATCH REPORT >>

ASTON VILLA 1-1 NORWICH CITY #AVLNOR

Paul Lambert insists that there were no feeling of vengeance when Aston Villa hosted his former side Norwich City on Saturday lunchtime.

Villa took a first-half lead through Christian Benteke, as Lambert encountered the Canaries for the first time since his departure from the club in the summer, but the visitors earned a draw through defender Michael Turner’s second-half effort following the dismissal of Joe Elliot.

"It didn't enter my head at all, not a thing – this is my club,” said Lambert. "It's a brilliant club, I know the lads like back of my hand but it's Chris [Hughton’s]' team; Chris' club.

"I'll forever be thankful for what those Norwich players have done, but it never bothered me."

Norwich recorded their first win of the season last week, with a 1-0 victory over Arsenal at Carrow Road, and Hughton was disappointed his side couldn’t chalk up another win at Villa Park.

"I think it was two points that got away,” he said. “When you are 1-0 down, you are delighted to get back in the game. If it’s 0-0 and you have the pressure we had at the end, you are more disappointed.

“I thought having gone 1-0 down we came out second half with a good attitude and forced the issue.”

READ MATCH REPORT >>

STOKE CITY 0-0 SUNDERLAND #STKSUN

READ MATCH REPORT >>

MANCHESTER CITY v SWANSEA CITY (5.30pm) #MCISWA

READ MATCH REPORT >>

Sunday 28 October 2012

EVERTON v LIVERPOOL (1.30pm) #EVELIV 

Team news, head-to-heads and press conferences >>

NEWCASTLE UTD v WEST BROMWICH ALBION (3pm) #NEWWBA 

Team news, head-to-heads and press conferences >>

SOUTHAMPTON v TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (3pm) #SOUTOT

Team news, head-to-heads and press conferences >>

CHELSEA v MANCHESTER UTD (4pm) #CHEMUN 

Team news, head-to-heads and press conferences >>

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Key Points

  • Mikel Arteta salvages victory for Arsenal with late winner against QPR
  • Wigan overcome West Ham; Reading and Fulham share six-goal thriller
  • Aston Villa held at home by Norwich; Stoke and Sunderland ends goalless