We just refused to lose, says jubilant Wenger

Manager says Arsenal are 'alive' and kicking after incredible comeback to beat Spurs 5-2

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The Independent Football

Arsène Wenger said his Arsenal side had proved that they are "alive" with a remarkable comeback to defeat Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 yesterday. Despite going 2-0 down, Arsenal "refused to lose the game", according to their manager, and five goals in 28 minutes ensured they narrowed the gap to their local rivals to seven points.

"Arsenal is alive more than anyone thought before the game," Wenger insisted. "The performance today was, on the spirit and technical side, and the drive of the whole team and style of the way we want to play, everything was perfect despite a very bad start." Louis Saha and Emmanuel Adebayor had put Tottenham 2-0 up within 35 minutes before Arsenal's incredible rally. "We had great spirit," Wenger said. "In the first five minutes, Spurs started well. It was all us for the next 85 minutes.

"We were 2-0 down and just refused to lose the game and kept going. At 2-2, if we maintained the pace, we would win the game."

Bacary Sagna and Robin van Persie levelled the game before half-time, while Tomas Rosicky put Arsenal ahead before Theo Walcott scored twice. Robin van Persie described it as a "classic comeback", and Wenger said Arsenal played with "good balance between offence and defence, creativity and going into the space behind their defenders".

Harry Redknapp admitted that even when Spurs were ahead he was not wholly confident. "I didn't feel comfortable at 2-0," he admitted. "They were creating chances at 2-0. I was saying: 'Let's get to half-time.' I could see them scoring. We seemed to buckle after they scored, which isn't like us. We don't do that often.

"The momentum was with them at half-time. They came off to a standing ovation and you knew it was going to be a very tough second half."

The result moves Arsenal back to fourth place, and seven points behind third-placed Tottenham. "It is still possible, if we keep our run going," Wenger said of their chances of overtaking Spurs. "But before the game it was 'impossible'. I always thought it was possible, but it would be down to consistency. If we continue to play like that, then why not?"