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Sep 18, 2010

Wenger angered by extra-time

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was left angered by Darren Bent's late equaliser for Sunderland in their 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.

• Blog: Last-minute agony at Sunderland
• Blog: Breathless entertainment at SOL

Wenger believes the referee should have blown for full-time, with the goal being scored in 95th minute after only four minutes of added time had been announced.

"It was outside the four minutes," Wenger said on ESPN. "I know the referee can give more than four, it's a minimum of four minutes. But in the four minutes nothing happened to justify the extension of the time. But I cannot do anything about that."

On a frustrating day for the Gunners, captain Cesc Fabregas had to be subsituted when he picked up an injury after he'd given them the lead.

"It's a hamstring. How bad it is I don't know," he said. "I believe we battled very hard and in the second half we were the better team, but in first half we had difficulties.

To make things worse, midfielder Alex Song was sent off in the second half for picking up two yellow cards.

"I though the the first yellow card was very harsh and on the second he makes an obstruction. We adapted quite well after that."

In contrast, Sunderland manager Steve Bruce was delighted with his sides last-gasp goal, praising the spirit of his team.

"To get that point at the end was just fantastic,'' he said. "We've got that spirit at home, we just need to do that away. When we play top teams at home it is always a difficult place to come. We went after them first half, we had four or five chances and didn't take them."

Bruce also feeds his side are improving, with this draw meaning they have picked up six points from their first five games.

"We are definitely going in the right direction. It (conceding late goals) has happened to us repeatedly in the last 15 minutes - so it's jolly nice for it to happen to us."

He then went on to praise the workrate of Sunderland's goalscorer Darren Bent, and he believes they picked up the result their performance deserved.

"You want one of those chances to fall to Benty and I thought he earned it because his work-rate was terrific. It's not easy on your own up front. We worked extremely hard to be what we were. They got a fluke of a goal but I thought our first-half performance was excellent and we've got our reward."

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