Bellerin: This feels like more than a point

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Captain Hector Bellerin and auxiliary centre-back Granit Xhaka were quick to praise the team spirit after Arsenal twice came from behind to snatch a late 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The result, secured despite being down to ten men for more than an hour after David Luiz’s dismissal, brought smiles to their faces as they faced the BT Sport cameras.

Here’s what they had to say…

On a huge point…

GX: I think we played very well after the red card. It’s so difficult, always, with one man less but we showed great team spirit. We were speaking at half time [saying] we can do it and we have twice come back. I’m very proud of the team.

On coming back into the team and securing a draw…

HB: Everything, as Granit said, is down to teamwork. It was a really, really, really hard game even before ten men. It was tough losing David, who is a very important player for us, especially in defence, but we turned it around from the minute he was sent off. At half time, we were only one down and we saw there was an opportunity to get back into the game. Everyone fought, everyone was defending in the box in the second half and that’s what you need. You earn points like this playing like that.

On responding twice with ten men…

HB: Yes, we’re a team that is always looking to improve and we know that one of the things that we need to do is to defend together, to not give up until the final whistle. This feels like much more than a point.

On Arteta wanting more steel…

GX: After this game, nobody needs to speak about that. We showed big character today. A lot of people spoke about us, saying we’re not ready, we have no character in the team.

On Martinelli’s goal…

HB: Counter-attacks are one of the things that are important in the games these days. Gab took it really well, he was calm in front of goal. You know, sometimes when you have that much time to think it gets difficult but he finished it really well. That’s what we practice, that’s what we do in training every day. It’s great to come out with a point.

On playing centre-back…

GX: I hope it’s not my new position but he [Arteta] knows I can play there. I try to help the team and I’m happy the guys around me made things easier today. I’m very happy. I didn’t know he [Bellerin] had a good left foot. It’s better after the operation!

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Henkamp

Something big is brewing, I can feel it. Once we can string a trio of wins together, the belief and confidence will skyrocket. At that point, anything can happen. This team will get better.

VAR will solve the problem

After the Martinelli goal, i promised myself that i would still be happy with the performance even if we had lost the game. But these boys just refused to lose tonight… Saka and Martinelli…you boys made my heart swell with such pride tonight. There will always be some hope for this club as long as we play with this kind of spirit. Come on you, Gunners!

Venga bus

Now let’s go and do some damage

Danger Mouse

Great credit to Xhaka for how he has turned the situation around with some ballsy performances. Credit to Arteta also for his role in that. An excellent point in the circumstances. Well done chaps.

AusDrexler

“I didn’t know he [Bellerin] had a good left foot. It’s better after the operation!”
Hahah Xhaka, is he finding his happy self again? I hope so.

Marinkos

I love everyone and everything right now. Especially Martinelli.

PeteyB

Mustafi included?
;-p

Kran stoenke

He did assist arsenal’s best goal of the season so far.

Rich

I really hope Martinelli wasn’t a Mislintat find, who we just kept pursuing.

His energy levels are unbelievable.

Pepe is beginning to show a few more positives signs.

Felt really sorry for Mustafi, his face after his mistake…..

George

Hoping Martinelli is the first of many from Edu.

EagerBeaver

I felt for him too TBH. Looks like his mistakes are just inherent and show up when they like. Other than that, he would be a good player.

AlexanderN

Yes it does 🙂

sauce

best arsenal game i’ve seen this season

Mpls

Red card, remarkable goals, real fighting spirit, disappointment for our opponents.

That’s a proper derby.

ArsenAlan

Xhaka was brilliant tonight and has been mostly solid since the arrival of Arteta. If he continues this form i hope he decides to stay.

Magneto

If Xhaka decides to stay, I hope Arteta considers reinstating him as the first choice Captain. He’s a natural for the role.

Mentalista

Hector scored the exact same goal against Liverpool 5 years ago.

Welcome back capitan!

Dawdler

I am envisioning the day when the young Arsenal team comes into its own. Martinelli, Nelson, Saka, Torreira, Guendouzi, Willock, Tierney, Saliba, Holding, Pepe and captain Hector Bellerin plus whatever supporting cast we accrue along the way. If recruit and develop well, we can be a real force. Think about how many of those guys are right now teenagers or in their early/mid-20s. We will need patience, but this could be the start of something. As that team matures and gels we will have quite a strong base with real character and talent to rely on. Credit to Maitland-Niles for… Read more »

Gunnermite

I don’t blame you for not including Torreira in your list. He often put up matured display that sometimes we forget he’s one of the youngsters in the team.

EagerBeaver

Really, is he that small to be noticed even in writing?

Kyle

????

Santori

So great to have Bellerin back. We have been missing him. Took the game by the scruff of the neck like Sagna did once with Spurs. Great equaliser bc it thoroughly deflated them. hope they go on a losing streak now. That cretin Azpicueletta celebrating like a tit. Then the pivotal moment when Jorghino was inclined to usher Bellerin infield and onto his weaker foot and the way that ball almost slow motion dambuster bombing run bounced its way through the defense and past their Kepa. Still on 10 points, still not where we need to be. Still unconvincing but… Read more »

Santori

Next 3 games is “winnable”…but we’ve been here before with Emery. In fact we’ve been here as well with Arteta after United. We need to approach games with the mentality that we can beat anyone. We still look very shy and tentative. Not to excuse Mustafi by any means but he look nervous passing out from the back but we kept passing the ball to him to execute the out ball and there was no real movement ahead (except a couple of times with Lacazette which was an easy read for them) Also surrogate fullbacks erring on caution have been… Read more »

Adnan

This is the best place to be after an arsenal game. We win, I keep smiling at the screen with an ear to ear grin going through all comments and killing that like button. We lose, I can vent out the frustration and find solace in the fact I aint alone. The game was 15 minutes past midnight here in UAE, thankfully the alarm went just in time. After the first half, couldn’t help feelings creep in, its going to be one of those days. Never been happier to be proven wrong. Loved the performance. Mustafis face was like of… Read more »

Teryima Adi

Let project Arteta continue. The future is bright. The team really showed steel. With time the wins will start coming.

EagerBeaver

Xhaka looks LANS, refined and more responsible. I especially like this response;

“After this game, nobody needs to speak about that. We showed big character today. A lot of people spoke about us, saying we’re not ready, we have no character in the team.”

Long may this continue!