Manager Mikel Arteta was delighted with Arsenal’s ‘fight and commitment’ after they battled to a 0-0 draw at Liverpool with ten men.
The Gunners’ chances of progressing to the Carabao Cup final looked bleak when Granit Xhaka was sent off 25 minutes into the first leg of the semi-final on Thursday.
However, a resilient Arsenal display restricted Liverpool to just one shot on target – which came in stoppage time.
Having escaped Anfield with a draw despite playing with a man less for more than 70 minutes, Arteta was filled with pride over his team’s attitude.
The Spaniard told talkSPORT: “When the red card happens, the tide can be turned away, because they only need ten really good minutes to score two or three goals and then the tie is over.
“But we showed a real fight today and a commitment to say, ‘I defend seriously, I don’t give up, I believe that we can do it’.
“We did not try to find excuses. I tell them every time that we can find excuses in any game, maybe in this context even more. And we didn’t.
“There were players who had to play in completely different positions. But when you have that attitude and desire, in the end, good things happen.”
He said: “Emotionally, it’s really important how you play these games and today I think we did that really well.”
Ex-Chelsea striker Jason Cundy believes Arteta deserves credit for overcoming some serious obstacles at Anfield and pulling off an unlikely result.
He told talkSPORT: “They were magnificent tonight. Arteta went to a five and he had a lot of shuffling to do.
“He had an injury to Cedric early. He then had the red card, so Eddie Nketiah had to come off.
“He then goes to a back five. Now he’s having to hang on – and Saka should’ve scored!
“I felt like Arsenal were absolutely good for that tonight.”
He added: “Defensively, they were well organised and worked their tails off. Credit to Arteta.”
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