Date: 21st February 2017 at 12:50pm
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Manager Arsene Wenger was a pleased man at the full time whistle in Monday’s victory over Sutton United in the FA Cup.

Heading to Gander Green Lane for the fifth round tie against our non league opponents, goals from Lucas Perez and Theo Walcott put us into the sixth round where we will again face non league opposition in the shape of Lincoln City.

Taking the two nil victory, Wenger told the Official Site in his post game press conference that he had been very impressed with the opposition as we needed to be professional as it certainly wasn’t easy.

Clearly the differences between life in the Premier League and non league were on show when it came to the pitch, the stadium and facilities such as the dressing rooms.

‘I come from a club that is smaller than that so it reminds me of my childhood. The changing rooms for me were fantastic – the closer you are, the more united you are when you go out there. When you are too far from each other in the dressing room with everybody having a chair, it is not so good. I prefer that – much more together.’

Obviously it was a case of getting the job done and not making a bad week worse following Bayern Munich, but Wenger was full of praise for the efforts on the evening.

‘Yes, against a side that was astonishing. It is basically division five and they are 17th out of 24. I will never go down there to manage because it is too difficult!’

Pressed on Sutton’s performance being a surprise, he added.

‘Yes, by the speed of their game, the fact they never stopped going until the end and compared to 20 years ago these teams are fit now and can play at the pace of the Premier League. Maybe in the past they collapsed in the last 20 minutes, that era is finished. They kept going and we were never really in a position where we could really afford to have a little breather in the game. We had to keep our focus, and I must give credit to my players who were professional and kept their focus, if we had come here in a relaxed mood we would have gone out tonight because Sutton produced quality.’

With Alexis Sanchez’s late appearance in the game as a substitute, Wenger went on to say that he didn’t feel involving him in the match was a risk.

‘He is a guy who has a strong body. I think on this pitch it is the guy who does not have good co-ordination, who is heavy on his feet, who is in trouble. Alexis is more a guy who has very good co-ordination, he is light on his feet. I don`t think it was a risk.’

Speaking about his team selection.

‘Of course, we could not afford a light team selection tonight and that is why I came with basically all the players who were available because we couldn’t afford to go out tonight, we can never afford it.’

Perez also came in for praise, as did others, for their individual showings.

‘Yes, he is pushing on the door but I have many strikers. I have Giroud, Welbeck, Walcott, Alexis and Lucas. It is true that he deserves a go because he scores goals and is a good player.’

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