Football - Gervinho earns Wenger praise

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hailed the confident display of Gervinho after the Ivory Coast forward set the Gunners on the way to a 4-1 win over relegation-battlers Reading which kept them in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

PA Sport

Gervinho has often cut a controversial figure following a string of frustrating displays following an £11million move from Lille in July 2011, but the 25-year-old was in inspiring form, opening the scoring and having a hand in everything positive as Arsenal netted again through Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and a Mikel Arteta penalty - while Hal Robson-Kanu headed in a consolation.

"Gervinho's performance was very strong. He was always dangerous, always looked like he could score, gave assists and scored himself," Wenger said.

"I believe that sometimes Gervinho has lost confidence because he played in a very negative atmosphere during a period. Strikers need confidence, and [with] his game, even more.

"He was always taking the ball and going forward, and provoking. When you lose confidence, that is a very dangerous game then. When he has found the confidence back, he's a very dangerous player.

"At the African Nations Cup, for me he was the best striker there. He is the type of player who is difficult to find, because they always go at people."

Wenger was pleased with the final result for his side, who have now won six of their last eight league games and also won 2-0 away over Bayern Munich in the Champions League, although still bowing out of Europe.

"I enjoyed our technical side, our creative side, our spirit and how disciplined and focused we were," said Wenger.

"The regret you have is that there were more goals in this game than the number of goals we scored.

"Overall, it's a good basis to finish the season well. Let's just keep that spirit, that attitude and play the football we want to play."

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