Bellerin: Arsenal showed heart and character in Stoke win

Date published: Sunday 14th May 2017 2:17

Hector Bellerin thought Arsenal showed they have “a lot of heart and character” during Saturday’s 4-1 win at Stoke.

The fifth-placed Gunners went into the contest at a ground where they had won just once in their previous eight Premier League visits knowing only a victory would really do in their quest for Champions League football.

They appeared comfortably on course for three points after Mesut Ozil put them 2-0 up in the 55th minute, adding to Olivier Giroud’s first-half opener.

But Stoke then applied some pressure and pulled a goal back through substitute Peter Crouch’s controversial 67th-minute effort that saw the ball go in off his hand.

Arsene Wenger’s men responded to that setback in fine style, keeping the Potters at bay before strikes from Alexis Sanchez and Giroud wrapped up the win.

And Arsenal full-back Bellerin, who provided assists for his side’s first and third goals, told the club’s official website: “That’s something this team has.

“We have a lot of heart, a lot of character and, even though in some games it may not look like we’ve shown it, the team really wants to be there (in the Champions League) and we’ve shown that (against Stoke).

“We knew that we were playing for our lives really, so any result other than a win wasn’t good for us.

“We knew that at the start of the game, so we knew we had to win no matter what. I think the team did really well.”

Gunners defender Rob Holding echoed Bellerin’s sentiments in terms of how the team handled things after Crouch scored.

“He got that goal and their fans got a bit louder, so we showed a bit of character to stay in the game when they had seven corners in a row,” Holding said.

“We just had to withstand it and then score more goals on the break to polish it off.”

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