Wenger impressed by spirit
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was encouraged by the spirit of his team in the victory over Bolton.
Last Updated: 25/10/11 11:25pm
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was encouraged by the spirit of his inexperienced team in Tuesday's victory over Bolton in the fourth round of the Carling Cup.
The Gunners were saved by a quickfire double salvo from Andrey Arshavin and Chu-Young Park as they continued their unbeaten League Cup run at Emirates Stadium.
Wenger's side had received a scare at the start of the second half when Bolton took the lead through former Arsenal midfielder Fabrice Muamba.
However, the North Londoners responded rapidly through goals from Arshavin and Park to the delight of boss Wenger.
"The first half I believe we had the chances [to score], but in the second half we were caught straight away in losing the ball in our own half," said the Frenchman, whose side face Chelsea this weekend.
"They scored and from then on we were tested as the more experienced players took charge of the game, like Park, Arshavin and [Yossi] Benayoun. They made the difference.
"I have to congratulate the team as we had two young full-backs who are usually central players that played out of position.
"In midfield we were very young and we showed good spirit against a good Bolton side.
"When we were 2-1 up in the last 20 minutes, our legs had gone a little bit and we had to hang on, relying on a bit of luck because any players had not played at that level at that intensity.
"What was vital for us was not to go into extra-time."
Arshavin's form has been criticised over the past 21 months, but Wenger was pleased with the Russia international's performance against Bolton.
"Andrey is a player who takes a bit of a gamble on nearly every ball he plays," Wenger told the club's official website.
"Sometimes he loses balls he shouldn't lose, but when you look at the end of the game he has always had a big impact.
"Tonight he scored and made an assist. He had a good performance tonight."