Arsenal v Leeds United: Bring on the Gunners again - Grayson

Leeds United manager Simon Grayson said he and his players would be ready to "go again" next week after failing by minutes to knock Arsenal out of the FA Cup.

The clubs are bracing themselves for a third-round replay following an afternoon of intense drama at the Emirates Stadium and Grayson denied that United's chance of an upset had passed with a cruel equaliser in London.

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Leeds were moments away from eliminating one of the leading contenders for this season's FA Cup when a penalty from Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas salvaged a 1-1 draw for Arsene Wenger's side.

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His 90th-minute goal ensured a re-run at Elland Road and left Grayson's squad with mixed emotions at the final whistle, but United's manager said his players had travelled home without regret, despite the timing

of Fabregas' equaliser.

Grayson will put Arsenal to one side while he concentrates on Saturday's Championship fixture against Scunthorpe United, but he indicated that his team and tactics would be as forthright in next week's replay as they were at the Emirates Stadium.

"We have to play our strongest team against a Premier League side, otherwise we could be on the end of a hiding," he said. "If you lose to a top team by five or six then it's going to dent your confidence.

"I wasn't going to go to Arsenal and settle for a draw or to keep the scoreline down to one or two. I wanted us to play positively regardless of who we're playing and we got a result on the back of that.

"I shook hands with Arsene Wenger before and after the game. He keeps himself to himself but he said 'well done' and we'll go again in a week's time with the same philosophy.

"We'll try to get a better result. But until then the most important game is Scunthorpe."

Leeds were set to announce the date and kick-off time of the replay today, but the club are likely to draw in a capacity crowd for

Arsenal's first visit to Elland Road since 2004.

Fabregas' goal at the Emirates Stadium levelled a 54th-minute penalty from Robert Snodgrass and Grayson had no argument with the late award after seeing left-back Ben Parker pull the shirt of England international Theo Walcott.

Walcott, however, made the surprising admission that he had dived in an attempt to win another penalty moments before the incident involving Parker.

The winger went down under a challenge from Alex Bruce and referee Phil Dowd initially reacted by pointing to the penalty spot. The official then reversed his decision on account of an offside flag.

"I apologised to the managers because I dived," Walcott said. "I've heard people say that if you feel the slightest touch you should go down but I'm not happy with myself for doing that."

The result in London underlined United's calibre in knockout competitions, following on from last season's FA Cup victory over Manchester United and their fourth-round draw at Tottenham Hotspur.

"We had nothing to lose," Grayson said. "No-one expected us to get a result, regardless of which players Arsenal put out. Every one of them is an international so if we're going to go down then we might as well go down with a positive approach.

"The players were disappointed when they came off the pitch but they should have no regrets about how they performed.

"People talked to me about the pressure we were under and asked whether we could handle it but we play in front of nearly 30,000 demanding fans at Elland Road every other week.

"Going to the Emirates is a good occasion but it's the sort of occasion where we've thrived in the past."

Wenger took great consolation from Fabregas' late goal but bemoaned the addition of a third-round replay to a congested fixture list.

"At least we are not out," said the Arsenal manager. "We are still in there. A replay was my second-worst wish – the worst was to go out."

Matthew Pennington.

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