Wenger forgives Lehmann's blunder

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The Independent Online

Arsenal's comfortable victory over Leeds meant that Arsène Wenger was able to forgive his goalkeeper Jens Lehmann for the eighth-minute error which gifted Mark Viduka the opening goal for the home side.

"Jens made a mistake, but I give credit to Viduka because he reacted quickly and cleverly and made it very difficult for our keeper," said the Arsenal manager.

"It's the kind of mistake which you have to accept from your keeper. You want distribution from the back and that starts with the goalkeeper.

s"You know during a season it can happen once or twice and the keeper gets those kind of problems, but we responded well and the best way to help him was by scoring goals."

Eddie Gray, the Leeds caretaker-manager, now turns his players' attention to Wednesday's Premiership game at Newcastle.

"I couldn't fault their commitment [against Arsenal]. I felt they worked extremely hard, but it's just the little things that let us down," he said. "The league is obviously our priority. Everybody knows how important it is to this club and that every game we now play is going to be vital."

The Yeovil manager, Gary Johnson, was a proud man despite yesterday's defeat of his Third Division side against the aristocrats of Liverpool.

"I wouldn't be unprofessional enough to say that a shock was on the cards but we created chances and our shape was very strong," he said.

"I'm very proud that this football club has been able to stage this event and I am proud of the boys. They showed for part of the game that they can compete at this level. We made Liverpool earn their victory.

"I'm also disappointed because every game of football we try to win, but Liverpool have a great attitude."

At Loftus Road, a less than convincing performance from Fulham saw the Premiership's fifth-placed team beat Cheltenham 2-1 after going behind. Their manager, Chris Coleman, unhappily declared that Cheltenham could consider themselves unfortunate.

He said: "The only positive that we can take from today is the result. It was a poor performance from us. I feel sorry for Cheltenham and their manager John Ward.

"We're better than we showed today. But we have to give Cheltenham some credit. They made it very difficult for us and were hungrier."

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