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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 30, 2008

Wenger delighted after Hull hangover banished

Arsene Wenger felt Arsenal delivered the perfect response to their humbling defeat to Hull, by thrashing Porto 4-0 at the Emirates Stadium tonight.

Strikers Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor plundered two goals each as the Gunners surged to the top of their Champions League pool.

The result was welcome relief for Arsenal who had endured a barrage of criticism since being stunned 2-1 by Barclays Premier League newcomers Hull at the same setting on Saturday.

"That performance is what we expected. We didn't concede a goal but scored four,'' said Wenger.

"We could have scored maybe a few more. But the most important thing was to respond quickly in a convincing way, and that's what we did.

"We were focused, and I was happy with the attitude. Maybe we were too tense at the start of the game. But we were focused, and at this level that is vital.

"On Saturday we were caught by our lack of focus. The team is maturing.

"There is big potential in the side. But we want to be intelligent, and in the end you measure that by how well we do together.

"It's difficult to measure our best performance of the season, but this was maybe our most complete performance.

"This is half the response I want. The other half comes on Saturday against Sunderland. I expect to win the group after this.''

Wenger offered a fresh perspective on the upset by Hull, one of the most embarrassing results of his 12-year reign as Arsenal manager.

"Hull was part of a learning process. Perhaps at 1-0 up we thought the hard work was done,'' said the Frenchman.

"Maybe the fact we had never played against them before meant we hadn't experienced the difficulty of playing them.''

Wenger just made one change to his side tonight, replacing Emmanuel Eboue with Samir Nasri, to avoid making any scapegoats for the Hull debacle.

"I was tempted to make more than one change but I didn't want to give the feeling that I was punishing one player more than another,'' he said.

"I wanted to give the team the chance to respond quickly.

"I brought in Nasri, who is a more natural left-sided wide player than Eboue. That's why Eboue didn't play.

"It was not to punish anyone; it was because we needed to respond quickly as a team.''

Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira felt the match would have taken a different course had his side capitalised on a couple of early chances.

"When Arsenal had scored their first goal we'd already had two chances that we didn't make the most of,'' he said.

"We looked more dangerous than them early on. We did the best we could. We're still second in the group.

"Arsenal are a great team. They play a short game with a lot of combinations and they do it everywhere, in the league or Champions League, and against any opponents.

"Most teams have trouble playing at Arsenal - and that's what we faced too.''

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