Bellerin backs Arse­nal to make fi­nal push

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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

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