Arsene Wenger hopes he will not have to be without Cesc Fabregas for too long after a latest injury setback following the Arsenal captain's inspirational performance against Aston Villa.

With the game deadlocked at Emirates Stadium, Fabregas was called upon just before the hour and went on to net a superb free-kick, and then swept in a crucial second goal to wrap up the points during the closing stages ahead of Abou Diaby's stoppage-time strike. However, the Gunners captain appeared to aggravate the problem as he dashed onto Theo Walcott's pass following a quick counter-attack and was replaced soon afterwards by Aaron Ramsey.

"Cesc is happy we won the game, but he is concerned about his hamstring," Wenger said.

"We do not know yet if it is a recurrence of the pull or just scar tissue. If it is scar tissue then it is a few days, but if it is a reoccurrence, then it is three weeks."

However, Wenger defended his selection policy, insisting it was a gamble worth taking.

"I feel that I did the right thing, and would do it again," he said.

"I put him on the bench and I knew before the game that if it was really needed, I would put him on.

"Had we been 1-0 up I would not have done it, but at the end of the day you do what you think will win the game."

Martin O'Neill challenged his men to continue their improvement through the rest of the campaign - starting with Tuesday's clash against Liverpool.

"You can draw all sorts of conclusions from just one game, and we have to look at the bigger picture," he said. We are up there in the league because we deserve to be. Now it is down to us to see if we can maintain the form which put us there in the first place."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Aaron Ramsey
Football
Premier League
Aston Villa
Vassiriki Abou Diaby
Liverpool
Theo Walcott