Nicklas Bendtner return for Arsenal labelled as 'positive' by Arsene Wenger

The striker had not played for the Gunners since 2011 but was involved in the victory over West Brom

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was in no doubt that Nicklas Bendtner had made a “positive” return after the striker helped the Gunners to a penalty shoot-out Capital One Cup victory at West Brom in his first appearance for the London club for over two years.

Bendtner - whose last Arsenal run-out had come in August 2011, since when he had been loaned to Sunderland and Juventus and then failed to secure another move over the summer - spearheaded the attack in a first XI showing nine changes from Sunday's Barclays Premier League win over Stoke.

The 25-year-old Denmark international had an unfortunate collision with a post early on but made a better impact in the 61st minute, playing a through ball for Thomas Eisfeld, who latched on to it and slotted in the opening goal.

Saido Berahino headed an equaliser 10 minutes later and the score remained 1-1 after extra time, in which Bendtner had the ball taken away from him by a superb Craig Dawson tackle when he was through on goal.

Bendtner then converted in the shoot-out, won 4-3 by the visitors thanks to Nacho Monreal's decisive penalty following missed ones from Dawson and Albion substitute Morgan Amalfitano, who had sent a shot against the bar in extra time.

Asked about Bendtner after the third-round tie, Wenger said: "I thought overall he had a good game.

"For a guy who has not played for such a long time, and on his own up front, he did very well."'

On the incident where Bendtner was tackled by Dawson, Wenger said: "What happened to him is what happens to many strikers when they have too much time to score - they wait and wait, and wait for too long. But overall, I thought his game was positive.

"One thing you don't question too much with him is his confidence.

"I believe for Nicklas, the most important thing for him is to stay fit. As for the rest, he has the talent.

"It is important that he is now consistently present and works hard physically. He has top qualities."

Wenger fielded several young players inexperienced at this level, such as 20-year-old first-time starter Eisfeld, debutant Isaac Hayden, Kris Olsson - another making his senior bow - and Chuba Akpom, with the latter pair coming off the bench and scoring in the shoot-out.

Wenger, whose team host Chelsea in round four, said: "I am proud. We played with many young players and they showed they are not only good footballers but that they can fight as well.

"I decided to go for young players with the penalties and they coped well with the pressure."

West Brom made eight changes to their starting line-up from their Premier League win over Sunderland and Albion joint-assistant head coach Kevin Keen felt the team had performed well.

"I think over the 90 minutes we probably just about shaded it and over the 120 we definitely shaded it," Keen said.

"So to come away without going through to the next round is rather deflating - and the lads are disappointed."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas