The Sport Matrix: Wenger praises Wilshere as Arsenal earn draw


Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger praised Jack Wilshere as “an honest guy” who had responded to a difficult week in which he was pictured smoking outside a nightclub to score a crucial equaliser as Arsenal drew 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion.

Wilshere (above) struck in the 63rd minute to protect an unbeaten run for Arsenal that now stretches to 11 games. Asked whether he was sure that Wilshere had stopped smoking, Wenger replied “I don’t know” although the Arsenal manager did so with a smile that suggested otherwise. It was Wilshere’s first goal in the Premier League since November 2010.

Wenger said: “At least the goal is done now. He had a difficult first half where he was fouled a lot. But showed he has character and kept going. I’m happy he was rewarded. He was pushed over a lot. I don’t think he was fouled dirty but pushed over. He didn’t get the fouls. In the second half he put in some great balls and had a very good second half.”

Wenger added: “He’s an honest guy. When he’s wrong he knows it.” MORE

Strikerless West Ham run riot

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Super subs seal Chelsea victory

Chelsea earned their first Premier League away league victory of the campaign yesterday, defeating Norwich 3-1. Oscar put Chelsea ahead before Anthony Pilkington levelled, but substitutes Eden Hazard and Willian both scored late goals for Jose Mourinho’s side. MORE

Lallana boosts his England chances

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Rooney: Januzaj can help England

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Steenson puts boot into Gloucester

Exeter beat Gloucester 29-12 yesterday. Fly-half Gareth Steenson impressed by scoring 19 points – five penalties and conversions of tries by Ben White and Dean Mumm, as Exeter leapfrogged Gloucester in the Premiership table. MORE

Triumphant Vettel closes in on title

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Harmison calls time on his career

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Nadal beaten just as he goes to No 1

Rafael Nadal, who will return to the top of the world rankings today for the first time in more than two years, lost for the first time since Wimbledon yesterday, beaten 6-3 6-4 by the former  No 1 Novak Djokovic in the China Open final. MORE

Treve comfortably prevails in the Arc

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Sam Wallace

Some find it unpalatable that footballers are occasional smokers – like Wayne Rooney – but the England side’s failure to keep the ball for sustained periods of games is a far greater concern. MORE