Bellerin backs Arsenal to make final push
LONDON: Hector Bellerin has backed Arsenal to mount a final push to qualify for the Champions League as his side face a make or break clash with Sunderland today.
Arsene Wenger’s team are three points behind fourth placed Manchester City and four adrift of third placed Liverpool, who have played a game more than their top four rivals.
The fifth placed Gunners and City are both in action today, with Pep Guardiola’s side hosting West Bromwich Albion.
Arsenal’s 4-1 thrashing of Stoke on Saturday had given them renewed hope of controlling their own fate, but Liverpool responded by crushing West Ham on Sunday.
As a result, the north Londoners are relying on slips by City or Liverpool to sneak into the top four. But if they fail to beat relegated Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium, it will effectively end their challenge in the most dispiriting manner possible.
In the circumstances, bottom of the table Sunderland appear ideal opponents for Arsenal as they aim to take the top four fight to the final weekend when they host Everton.
Bellerin is convinced the way they coped with a barrage of Stoke pressure to record a fifth win in their last six games proves Arsenal are determined to finish the season strongly, no matter what happens in the European race.
“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),” the defender said.
“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.” AFP