Wenger lauds Van Persie as flying Dutchman nets record in Wolves win
22:37 GMT, 11 April 2012
Arsene Wenger hailed Arsenal striker Robin van Persie after he equalled a Barclays Premier League goalscoring record in the 3-0 win at Wolves.
Van Persie netted against a 17th different team in the same season with his penalty at Molineux and he has only failed to hit the target against Manchester City and Fulham.
Dutch of class: Van Persie nets the opener from the penalty spot
It mirrored the achievement of former Gunners hotshot, Ian Wright, who scored against every other side bar Manchester United and Sunderland in a 38-game season during the 1996-97 campaign.
The Dutchman ended his four-game run without a goal to take his overall tally to 34 in all competitions this season.
Wenger said: 'It is important for a striker, even like Robin van Persie who was not used to not scoring in the season, to find the net.
He's at it again: The Dutchman has taken his tally to 34 for the season
'He equalled the record of Ian Wright who scored against 17 different teams out of 19 in the Premier League.
'That is absolutely remarkable in the modern game to be able to do that. I'd like to congratulate him on that.
'When you only have 19 teams, and your striker has scored against 17 teams, that is something sensational.
'He could have beaten the record if he had scored against Manchester City at the weekend.'
On target: Walcott doubled Arsenal's advantage with 11 minutes gone
Arsenal are now five points clear of fourth-placed Tottenham in the battle for a Champions League place.
Wenger said: 'It was overall a fantastic win. I'm very happy to be in this position but also very cautious as some teams were in the position we are in now before.
Three and easy: Benayoun scores Arsenal's third
'We want to win our next game and from where we have come (trailing behind Tottenham at one stage) helps us be focused.
'We have come from very deep and being in that position helps us focus on that next game.'
Theo Walcott and Yossi Benayoun were the other scorers for the Gunners.
Wenger admitted he is puzzled at Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli escaping action after his challenge on Alex Song in the weekend clash, compared to QPR skipper Shaun Derry being sent off after making contact with Manchester United's Ashley Young.
He said: 'I don't still understand well. If you look at, for example, the case of Balotelli, okay you get an explanation and okay you have to accept it.
'If you look at the case of Derry and think okay you can accept it.
'But if you put the two together it looks absolutely unbelievable that one is suspended and the other isn't.
'But when the ref has seen something, no-one can get over the rule. I think we should have an exceptional committee of ethics to get over that.
'The global situation does not make sense. For people who love football, it is difficult to understand why one is not punished at all and the other one is punished.
In trouble: Connor's Wolves are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table
'I'm not keen to get Balotelli suspended but for football fans it is difficult to understand.'
Wolves are now nine points adrift of safety and manager Terry Connor felt it harsh for Sebastien Bassong to be red-carded for the challenge on Walcott which led to the Van Persie spot-kick.
He said: 'There's definitely a tangle. The interpretation was Bassong fouled Theo. I just don't think the punishment fitted the actual crime.
'You could argue that he was the last man. The ref has no choice according to the rules but the rules look a bit harsh.
'It spoils the game for the supporters a little because they know they (Wolves) have little chance after that to come back.'
As regards Wolves current plight, Connor said: 'There's a chance and I have asked the lads to replicate that performance for the next five games and what will be will be.
'If they play with the heart, spirit and determination they did tonight, I can't ask anymore.'