Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has paid tribute to Leyton Orients battling players, after they secured a replay against Arsenal in the FA Cup 5th round.
Arsenal arrived at Brisbane Road having beaten the best team in the world, in Barcelona, and were hoping to finish the tie off quickly.
Tomas Rosicky got them off to a good start with a well placed header, but Arsenal failed to turn possession into goals, and a late Jonathan Tehoue goal earned Orient a replay at the Emirates.
“We have played the game with the right attitude and could not fault our fighting spirit, but you also have to give credit to Leyton Orient because they never gave up and fought very hard,” said Wenger.
“As long as you do not score the second goal, that can happen.
“Overall it is a disappointment, but we are still in the competition and will now play at home.
“The most important thing is to go through.
“You had a match against a team which is technically superior, but fighting spirit has a chance.”
Wenger, added “The most negative side of our result today is one more fixture and in fairness that is not what we needed.
“We have had problems in the cups against teams from the lower divisions to finish them off, but also we have given a lot.
“Sometimes, mentally, a breather would not be bad.
“What people forget is that since the beginning of December, we have played every three days, so sometimes to have a week where we could give the players a little breather would not be bad.”
Wenger however refused to begrudge Orient their big day out at the Emirates adding, “It will make their budget for the season, if not more, and to scrap that off would be a blow to all the smaller clubs in England.
“They suffer already, so you would not have a lot of supporters to do that (scrap replays).
Arsenal or Orient will play Manchester United in the quarter finals.