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

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test