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By ESPN Staff
Sep 29, 2010

Wilshere hails Fabianski after crucial saves

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere praised goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski as the Gunners claimed a 3-1 Champions League win away to Partizan Belgrade.

Fabianski, in for the injured Manuel Almunia, saved a second-half penalty to help Arsene Wenger's men record a second win in the group and also made another great stop right at the death.

"It's been hard for our 'keepers at the moment and that was a great reponse from him,'' Wilshere said on Sky Sports 4. "He made a good save at the end as well. Fair play to him.

"We were confident, we came here to get a win and that's what happened. We came here and we knew it was going to be a hard atmosphere, we dealt with it well and got the result.''

A power failure had earlier forced Arsenal to change for the game in the dark. "We had to use phone torches,'' said Wilshere.

Manager Arsene Wenger was also pleased with Fabianski's "faultless'' performance.

"Fabianski had a good game, we have seen the player tonight who we see in training. He had a faultless game,'' said the Arsenal boss. "I know it is in him. He got it out in the game tonight and hopefully that will give him the belief and confidence he needs.

"I am confident he will come out as a great 'keeper, I have always said that. We have to keep confidence in him and he needs to gain experience from games like this.''

Fabianski could be in line to play against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Wenger said: "At the moment Almunia is injured, we will have to see how his injury goes, but at the moment it is too early to say.''

Wenger felt his side, missing key men like captain Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen, coped well with the early onslaught.

"Partizan gave us the game we expected - full of commitment, full of power on every break,'' he said. "We had a lot of the ball and created a lot of chances. However, we could not kill the game off and then we were always under threat.

"They came back with the penalty, afterwards we needed to keep the pace high and when we got the second goal, I thought we looked comfortable. For us it was important to win straight away after a big disappointment against West Brom.

"It puts us in a good position confidence-wise, Sunday is a big, big game for us. I believe we will go there with a desire to do extremely well.''

There was a chance the match would not have gone ahead if the floodlights had failed. Wenger said: "I thought it would be terrible to go home and not play. I encouraged UEFA when they asked me 'do you want to play even if one corner is off?', I said 'yes, as long as the referee is happy with it'. Overall it was acceptable.''

Partizan have now lost both of their matches, and look set for a battle with Braga for the Europa League place.

Coach Alexandar Stanojevic said: "The atmosphere during and after the match from our supporters tells us they were satisfied and we played a good game. However, when we got the red card it was difficult because it is tough enough to play against Arsenal when you have 11, but when you have 10, it is nearly impossible.

"We have to admit, though, that Arsenal were a better team, so we have to go on.''

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