Kieran Gibbs paid homage to the combined effort of his teammates and the Arsenal crowd as he reflected on an epic, but ultimately disappointing, night at the Emirates.
Admitting that the Gunners ran out of steam after a heroic first half effort which reaped three goals, the England left-back made clear that the players couldn’t have given any more effort against AC Milan.
“We gave everything in the first half and if anything we ran out of legs a bit in the second,” he told UEFA.com. “We couldn’t give as much as we wanted to and maybe we ran out of steam.
“We had a point to prove. We were hurt by the result in Milan and we wanted to show who we are and restore some pride.
“They defended better in the second half but we had our chances, but in the end they did their job and they’re the ones who will go home happy. It’s probably worse to come so close and not go through. It hurts, but we did ourselves proud.”
Backed to the hilt by a thumping atmosphere from the first whistle, Gibbs also took the time to thank the home support who provided a soundtrack of hope throughout.
“When the stadium is like this, teams struggle against us because it lifts everyone,” said the 22-year-old.
“The place was electric tonight. After the first one went in we could sense that we could get back into it. We have to thank the fans for that because they helped us get our goals. Unfortunately, though, we just fell short.”
It is now six days until the visit of Newcastle United and the opportunity to consolidate top four credentials as the final weeks of the season approach. Let’s hope the vibrant and respectful relationship between fans and players continues…