Laudrup: Arsenal deserved win

16th January 2013

Michael Laudrup had no complaints after seeing his side bow out of this season's FA Cup following a late defeat at Arsenal.

The Swans had to weather some heavy pressure from the home side throughout, in particular the second half when they needed some valiant defending to keep out their hosts.

But Arsenal kept plugging away and were rewarded for their efforts when Jack Wilshere fired home an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box with four minutes to go.

And Laudrup felt as though the home side deserved their place in the fourth round.

"I'm not disappointed," he said. "They were better in the second half and they deserved the win.

"We tried and defended well, at times heroic. But I thought it was a matter of time before they scored."

Wednesday's clash was Swansea's fifth game of a packed January, with their attention now turning to Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash against Stoke at the Liberty.

Following that, all eyes will be back on SA1 in seven days' time in the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final.

Laudrup made six changes at the Emirates to the side that drew with Everton, and praised his players for the way they have remained competitive in a testing period.

"We try to use the squad as much as possible," he said. "We have played some big sides recently, but most importantly we have always been competitive.

"Even though we lost, it is good for me to see everyone do well."

The stand out performance of the night came from Arsenal's Jack Wilshere, with the England international driving the home side forward throughout.

His combative display was capped with the game's winning goal, a sweetly struck left-foot shot that flew past Michel Vorm into the bottom corner.

And the Swans boss praised the 21-year-old midfielder, and insisted he could go on to become one of the leading players in Europe.

"He has a lot of potential," said Laudrup. "We always want to see great players, and he played very well tonight.

"Everyone can improve, especially young players. We shouldn't put that pressure on him but he could be very, very good."

Meanwhile, the result means Arsenal will travel to Brighton next weekend in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

And Arsene Wenger was delighted with the way his side bounced back from their 2-0 defeat against Manchester City last weekend.

"As a team we played well," he said. "We had much better balance and created chance after chance. We persevered and were rewarded in the end.

"We have to fight hard to get back into a good position in the Premier League, but tonight was about winning the game and getting through.

"It was also important for us to win straight away after losing on Sunday."