We more than matched them - Shearer

Last updated : 10 February 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Alan Shearer

"We have no regrets at the way we performed today. In my opinion Arsenal are the best team in the country and favourites for the Premiership title yet we more than matched them.

"Laurent Robert's sending off was very harsh and it meant we had to defend in the last half hour. It's hard enough playing against Arsenal with 11 men never mind 10 so you can imagine how you tough it was.

"But we had no complaints and in the circumstances we picked up a very good point at the end of the day.

"I must say I thought it was a great game. It had everything. Committed players, good players and two good goals and in fact the game turned out to be everything it was built up to be.

"We know our run of home wins would have to end some day but as I have already said we have no regrets at today's performance."

Shay Given

"It was a fantastic result but I really think had we kept 11 men on the pitch we would have beaten them.

"It's easy for me to say that now but I would love to see how we would have got on had Laurent not been sent off.

"I think Dennis Bergkamp was quite clever. He knew Laurent had just received his first booking.

"He used his head but last week John Hartson tried the same thing for Celtic and he was booked, not the guy blocking the kick. You want to see some consistency.

"It was important that we didn't lose. We're happy with the point as it's hard enough playing Arsenal with 10 men.

"After the game there were high spirits in the changing room and we're happy with the way things worked out in the end. They're a top-class team and that's why they're champions. We've not let them get any further away and Man United also drew.

"Had we been beaten things would have got a lot harder but we didn't slip up and I can't speak highly enough of the lads. We can still catch Man United and Arsenal."

Thierry Henry

"I told Laurent how unlucky he was to be sent off and I had no qualms about shaking his hand.

"I did not see much of the incident because I was a bit far away and I cannot say too much.

"But what I will say is that Newcastle United are a good side and we all felt that a 1-1 draw at St James's Park was a great result.

"And with Manchester United being held at home by Manchester City, it was a good day for Arsenal."

Gary Speed

"It's as you were at the top, but I think we needed to win the game, to be honest.

"If you'd said before the game we would get a point I think we'd have been disappointed as we wanted all three, but it's a measure of how far we have come as a team.

"Having said that, under the circumstances we have to be pleased with a draw. It was difficult. Once we got the goal I thought we were in the ascendancy but the sending-off put us on the back foot.

"Still, I don't think Shay Given really had too many saves to make in the last half-hour. We coped well against a very good team, so all credit to the players.

"At Blackburn earlier in the season we capitulated when we went down to 10 men, but I think you could see we learned a lesson from that."

Olivier Bernard

"It was very disappointing when Laurent was sent off as we were very excited following the goal and things seemed to be going our way.

"We'd started the second half well and were happy. I think the sending off was harsh as Dennis Bergkamp played the ball to Laurent's feet.

"They are a clever team and that's the way things go sometimes in football.

"In the dressing room Laurent was very unhappy. He feels he did nothing wrong because the ball was moving when he kicked it.

"Laurent had scored a goal to put us in a good position and he was enjoying the game."

(Quotes from the BBC, the Evening Chronicle, nufc.co.uk and Sky Sports News)