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Per - This can be a springboard for us

Per Mertesacker celebrates

Per Mertesacker says the “great character” shown by Arsenal in the north London derby can act as a springboard for the rest of the season.

More from the north London derby:

Alexis' 76th-minute equaliser secured a 2-2 draw at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, after Francis Coquelin had been sent off early in the second half with the Gunners leading 1-0.

The point at White Hart Lane was the Gunners' first in three matches and Mertesacker was particularly pleased with the fighting spirit shown by his team-mates.

"I think we have shown great character and hopefully that gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of belief"

“I think we have shown great character and hopefully that gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of belief ahead of the next FA Cup match and then the following Premier League games,” he said. “I think we’ve shown a lot.

“With 11 men, we played really well - I think we defended well. It was a high tempo, the first 15 minutes were absolutely amazing.

“I have never played in such a demanding game physically. Mentally, it’s always tough because you could feel the pressure but the team responded well and I think it’s a good start to an interesting end of the season.

“We’ve come back from disappointing performances but nevertheless we played pretty well. It is how you turn up, and we turned up very aggressively.

“Especially in midfield, we were always on the ball, always aggressive. We wanted to attack the man with the ball so hopefully it gives us something.

“We needed that as well. We came here with a lot of injuries but never took that as an excuse. I think that is the biggest statement for ourselves - not for anyone else, just for ourselves.”

 

Aaron Ramsey gives Arsenal the lead

Aaron Ramsey gives Arsenal the lead

 

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