Arsenal made heavy weather of being Leicester City at home on Wednesday to keep their hopes of a top-four finish alive, but full-back Hector Bellerin believes a shift to a 3-4-3 formation has only just begun to show results, according to a statement on the club website.
Robert Huth’s 86th-minute own goal proved to be decisive as the Gunners ran out 1-0 winners at the Emirates to cut the gap between themselves and fourth-placed Manchester City to four points.
And after knocking Pep Guardiola’s men from the FA Cup on the weekend, Bellerin spoke of how crucial the goal and the result was: “It was really important for us to get the win today. The spirits were really high after the weekend, so we knew that we had to keep it up. Leicester is always tough. They’re a team that defend really well, so it’s always very hard to crack them. We had to wait until the last 10 minutes to do it but I think the team deserved the win. We had the most of the game and you know, there was good energy and good spirit and we’ve just got to keep it going into the weekend now.”
Arsene Wenger introduced Olivier Giroud in the second half to force a goal and Bellerin admitted that the change in tactics benefitted them, saying “Sometimes you’ve just got to switch the tactics. I think the team played with great energy at the beginning and we were getting chances, we just weren’t efficient enough. But then, towards the end we knew that we would have our chances and the goal came at the end. I think it’s good credit to the team that we kept going, we were patient and then we got the goal.”
Wenger has started to play three at the back for the first time since 1997 and Bellerin feels the new formation is working: “You know, for the style of play that the team has, it works really well. Sometimes you’ve just got to keep switching system and make the other teams just think about it for a second and I think the team is doing really good. No matter what system we play, I think the team is performing so we’ve just got to keep it going and enjoy every minute of it.”
There isn't any time to relax for Arsenal for Sunday sees them make the short trip to Tottenham Hotspur and Bellerin adds that the Gunners are in a good state of mind at the moment: “It’s really important to get to those games with a good spirit and good mood in the dressing room and after these two last results, the team is in a great one and we’ve just got to keep it going.”
(All quotes from www.arsenal.com)