Date: 2nd December 2007 at 12:08pm
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Martin O’Neill said that Villa were ‘immense’ in the second half against Arsenal and added that we deserved a draw out of the game, something many Arsenal fans seem to be agreeing with.

He told the official site after the 2-1 loss in front of a full house at Villa Park (lets get another sell out next week at Pompey eh?!)

‘I really thought we deserved to get at least something out of the game today. Had we got the equaliser early in the second-half when Carew hit the bar, we probably would have gone on to win it. That’s of course an easy assumption to make. The fact is that we didn’t take anything from the game, but it was an immense second-half, absolutely immense. We were just relentless and must have had 85 per cent of the game. Coming against a side like Arsenal who played so well in the first-half it was an amazing turnaround. That’s not to say that we didn’t cause them problems in the first-half, we did.’

Adding, using his favourite word, ‘Arsenal are a terrific side. They pass the ball around well and keep it well. They got themselves in front and we hung on until half-time. But the second-half was just one-way traffic and I’m really disappointed we didn’t get something from it. ‘You could see with Arsene Wenger’s celebrations on the final whistle that they were relieved.’

Arsene Wenger said:

‘We were brilliant and resilient. In the first half we played some absolutely amazing football. We moved the ball quickly, were accurate with our passing in short spaces and made it difficult for Villa. In the second half, the physical contribution from Villa and the fact some of our players dropped off a little bit, allowed them back in. I felt at the end of the first half we seemed as if we weren’t right on top of things and that made it difficult.’

‘But this is a big result. Because of the belief in the Villa side after their recent good run, we needed something special. Maybe in the past, games like that have been our Achilles heel. But we have improved, have more experience and resilience and we panic less.’