Wenger - We can't lose RVP
Gunners boss admits good fortune mixed with skill at Anfield
Last Updated: 04/03/12 12:34pm
Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal cannot afford to lose Robin van Persie after watching the Dutchman's heroics earn a 2-1 win at Liverpool on Saturday lunchtime.
Van Persie scored twice, including a late winner to take his tally for the season to 35 in all competitions for club and country, as the Gunners battled back from going behind to Laurent Koscielny's own goal.
The victory put Arsenal within four points of third-placed Tottenham and as good as ended Liverpool's top-four hopes in the Premier League.
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And after the match, Wenger confessed the Gunners would miss inspirational striker and captain Van Persie, whose contract is set to expire at the end of next season and he has been linked with Real Madrid.
"He is playing under big pressure in every game, because he knows he has to score. He has shown exceptional development, not only as a player but as a human being. "
Wenger on Van Persie Quotes of the week
"In the second half, I thought if it stayed 1-1 until the last 10 minutes, you never know, we have the quality to create chances," Wenger told Sky Sports 2 HD.
"In the second half, we had chances, the problem was the first half when we were not in the game.
"We were fortunate it was 1-0 at half-time, because we could have been two or three down.
"But when you see the ball landing at the feet of Van Persie, you know he can deliver a special goal. He did that today.
"You can never afford to lose a player of that quality. In every game he comes up with something special."
Wenger added at his post-match press conference: "I must say we will do anything to keep him. I cannot say much more, because I have said that many times.
"I am very proud that he has grown after having seen him arriving here timid, and today being the player and leader he has become.
"He is playing under big pressure in every game, because he knows he has to score. He has shown exceptional development, not only as a player but as a human being.
"He is up there with the best players in the world."
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny made a magnificent double save from Dirk Kuyt's penalty when the score was 0-0 and Wenger was full of praise for the Pole's display.
"There were two men of the match today, Wojciech Szczesny and Van Persie," he said.
Wenger added: "It (the win) keeps the confidence high and we are on a good run now. It puts us in good condition to make the impossible possible on Tuesday night (against AC Milan in the Champions League)."