Laudrup: Draw was fair result
6th January 2013
Michael Laudrup believes a draw was the right result as he saw his side battle back to earn an FA Cup third round replay against Arsenal.
The Swans shaded an even first half before taking the lead prior to the hour mark as Michu came off the bench to score his 15th goal of the season.
But Arsenal came back and levelled with ten minutes to play as Lukas Podolski fired home, before Kieran Gibbs turned the tie on its head with a thumping volley just three minutes later.
However, the Swans roared back once more and earned a replay when Danny Graham smashed home from six yards out with three minutes left on the clock.
"I think it was a fair result," said Laudrup. "Arsenal only had a couple of shots in the first half, and we had the best chance when Danny Graham had his effort saved.
"The changes we made in the second half brought us a goal but then Arsenal put us under pressure and took over possession.
"They score two late goals but we came back again to show the great character that we have in the team.
"But to play against Arsenal, with our top scorer on the bench, shows we are building this team and this club and its great to see."
The Swans made four changes to the side that drew with Aston Villa last Tuesday, with Laudrup handing only a second start to former Arsenal defender Kyle Bartley.
Top scorer Michu was named amongst the substitutes, while Ki-Sung Yueng and Nathan Dyer returned to the starting line-up.
But the boss was delighted with the way Danny Graham continued his good run of form as he scored his third goal in as many games.
"He (Michu) wasn't 100 per cent," said Laudrup. "He picked up an ankle injury in the game against Reading and he also had a slight back problem.
"But after two goals in two goals, I was hoping that Danny (Graham) could continue his momentum and he did just that.
"He worked hard throughout, had a great effort in the first half and I think in the last three games we have seen the Danny that we saw at the end of pre-season and in the early part of the season.
"And he is important for us because he is scoring goals."
Both Arsenal and Swansea will now battle it out at the Emirates for a place in the fourth round and a trip to Championship side Brighton.
And with yet another fixture to add to an already congested schedule, Laudrup is hoping that his side can continue their good form as they prepare to face Chelsea on Wednesday in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final.
"The last thing I want is to lose a game," he said. "A replay isn't exactly what I was looking forward to, especially with the games we have coming up.
"It is a tight schedule but when you are on the pitch, you want to win.
"It always matters if you lose, and it is another big game to look forward to.
"But we'll continue with this positive momentum and what we have already this season, nobody can take that away from us."
** The third round replay against Arsenal at the Emirates has been scheduled for Wednesday, 16 January with a 7.45pm kick off. Ticket details will be released in due course.