Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was relieved to come through a major scare in the FA Cup third round as his side fought back from a goal down to defeat Preston North End.
The Gunners trailed to Callum Robinson’s early opener at Deepdale on Saturday and could have been three or four behind at the break had the hosts taken some gilt-edged chances.
But Arsenal fought back after the interval, Aaron Ramsey equalising within 60 seconds of the restart before Olivier Giroud netted a scrappy winner a minute from time.
It was the second time in as many games that Giroud had rescued his side after his stoppage-time goal in Tuesday’s 3-3 draw at Bournemouth, and this win maintained Arsenal’s record of never losing a third-round tie under Wenger.
“Yes, we have come back many times this season in the final minutes but we have to congratulate Preston,” Wenger told BT Sport.
“They gave us a tough game, especially a very tough first half where the only positive was that we were only 1-0 down.
“The second half was a completely different game but they defended well, they can feel a bit unlucky because they created chances in the first half.
“We were not at the races in the first half and we were beaten everywhere, we didn’t win the duels and were outplayed. But sometimes when you come out of the Christmas period and subconsciously think it’s a bit easier it’s more difficult in the FA Cup.
“You don’t want that kind of performance but this team always responds when we are in trouble.”
Ramsey’s fine strike was his first of the season and Wenger hopes there will be plenty more from the Welshman before the end of the season.
“One of his qualities is to get into dangerous situations and sometimes he lost a bit of confidence to finish but I’m happy this will give him confidence to get many more,” said Wenger, who also confirmed right-back Hector Bellerin had picked up an injury in training on Friday.
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