Arsenal 1-0 Swansea City
The FA Cup with Budweiser
Third Round Proper Replay
7.30pm, Wednesday 16 January 2013
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By Glenn Lavery
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger lavished praise on Jack Wilshere after the 21-year-old's match-winning performance against Swansea in The FA Cup.
Wilshere scored the only goal of the game to book the Gunners a Fourth Round tie against Brighton, and, deployed in the traditional ‘No.10’ role, his all-round display caught the eye to the extent that his manager offered the ultimate compliment.
Wenger said of Wilshere: "He's a complete midfielder.
“He can defend, he can attack. He is a guy who can dribble and give final balls, the closer to the goal the better.
"He was outstanding [against Swansea]. He played in a different position, a bit higher up and it created a better team balance.
"You could see he was a threat even when he played as a left winger. He had a great second half and he combined well, but we were dangerous everywhere.”
Wilshere has fought his way back into the first team picture at the Emirates following a year-and-a-half on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
The diminutive schemer made his long-awaited comeback in October and has looked stronger with each game, a point not lost on Wenger.
He added: "I have no experience of a player being out for 17 months in my whole career. I always said if we get Jack back for 1 January we have done well but he's ahead of what I could imagine.”
Wenger was also happy with how Abou Diaby fared in just his second game back after a thigh injury, but more so with his team’s overall performance.
He said: "We created chance after chance in the second half but we got [the goal] in the end. We persevered and we were rewarded.
"As a team we played well. Overall it was a good performance. It is important that we continue [to play] like that.”