Xhaka: Arsenal showed togetherness, spirit, character

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka (pic John Walton/PA)

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka (pic John Walton/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka hailed the team’s spirit and character after their 2-0 Europa League win in Milan on Thursday.

The Gunners travelled to the San Siro having lost their last four matches in all competitions, with few giving them much chance in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

But first-half goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan – his first for the club – and Aaron Ramsey gave Arsene Wenger’s men a memorable victory and Xhaka felt they answered some of their critics.

He told arsenal.com: “A lot of people spoke about us from the outside, but nobody knows what is inside the team.

“We showed togetherness, we showed spirit and a lot of character. Everyone knows we lost the last four games and that was difficult for us.

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“It was important to be together and to show people on the outside that we are a team. We showed a good game.”

Arsenal could arguably have put the tie beyond doubt as Danny Welbeck missed a good chance to get on the scoresheet in the first half and Mkhitaryan also hit the crossbar.

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But Switzerland international Xhaka felt that after a tough few weeks they could not be too greedy, adding: “At the start it was a little bit difficult for us, but after that we made it our game and we scored.

“I think 2-0 in Milan is a good result for the first leg. Milan is a good team and now we want to finish the second leg and to win as well again at home.”

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