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The Gunners defender says defeat at Anfield on Monday night should not dent the optimism that currently exists at Emirates Stadium

Hector Bellerin says there is a hunger within the Arsenal squad that hasn’t existed during the last few years and believes they will bounce back strongly from their defeat at Liverpool.

Mikel Arteta’s side were beaten for the first time this season when they went down 3-1 at Anfield at Monday night, but there were still some positives for the visitors to take from the performance.

They took the lead through Alexandre Lacazette’s first-half goal and although they soon found themselves 2-1 down, Arsenal stayed in the game after the interval and had a golden chance to equalise when the Frenchman burst clean through, only to see his shot saved by Alisson.

It proved to be a costly miss as Liverpool went on to wrap things up through a late Diogo Jota strike, ensuring their unbeaten home run in the Premier League – which stretches back to 2017 – was maintained.

For Arsenal, it was a disappointing result, but Bellerin is adamant that the defeat should not take away from the progress they have made under Arteta in recent months.

“Liverpool haven’t lost a game [at Anfield] in the league in years,” said the Spanish right-back. “To be fair, it is the norm to come here and lose nowadays but we made it really, really difficult for them.

“We had the chances to even go to 2-2 and make it a different game, but the truth is right now they are a better team than us. We are getting better every time.”

Bellerin added: “The dressing room is frustrated. There is a hunger in this team that wasn’t there the last few years and we want to win every single game. We knew that coming here all the odds were against us, but the team believed that we could come here and get a result.

“For us to not get that is very frustrating, but we are not going to let this get to us.

“We have been working really well, we have been getting results that people didn’t even believe we could get and, building on from the end of last season, I think the team is working really hard.

Hector Bellerin Sadio Mane Arsenal Liverpool 2020-21

“Every game we understand each other more and I am very positive about what this season holds for us.”

Arsenal return to Anfield again on Thursday night to take on Liverpool in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

They then host Sheffield United on Sunday as they look to get back to winning ways in the Premier League.

The defeat on Monday saw questions asked about the way Arteta’s side like to play out from the back, even against a team like Liverpool – arguably the best pressing side in Europe.

Some suggested that Arsenal should have tried to play another way, given the way Liverpool closed them down and forced mistakes, but Bellerin is adamant that they must stick to their principles if they want to continue to improve.

“This is our game,” he said. “This is what we have been training since Mikel has been here, so just because a team is the best in Europe at doing that (pressing), doesn’t mean we change the way we play.

“We train like this every single day, every single week, so we can master it and we can hurt teams by doing this. It doesn’t matter how good the other team is, we have an identity, we have a way of playing football, and that’s how we create our chances.

“If you look at the games we played against them in the past. Our goals come from playing out from the back. So just because they are so good at it doesn’t mean we need to change.

“We should all be proud that we stick by what we know. Sometimes it is difficult. Not every game is going to be easy. I think we just need to keep working and getting better, because these are the games we need to be winning.”

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September 29, 2020
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