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Arsenal's Sokratis: 'I'm very happy with our spirit'

PUBLISHED: 15:45 11 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:45 11 January 2020

Arsenal's Sokratis Papastathopoulos applauds the fans after the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture: Tess Derry/PA

Arsenal's Sokratis Papastathopoulos applauds the fans after the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture: Tess Derry/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Sokratis hailed 10-man Arsenal's spirit as they battled to a 1-1 with London rivals Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew and Arsenal's Sokratis Papastathopoulos (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture: Tess Derry/PACrystal Palace's Jordan Ayew and Arsenal's Sokratis Papastathopoulos (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture: Tess Derry/PA

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave the Gunners a 12th-minute lead when he finished off a flowing moving, but the hosts equalised on 54 minutes as Jordan Ayew's deflected shot beat Bernd Leno.

Aubameyang was then sent off on 67 minutes for a dangerous challenge on Max Meyer to leave the visitors with a man less in a vital stage of the game.

Sokratis made an heroic clearance on the line to keep out James Tomkins' header as Arsenal showed grit to earn a point, and the Greek defender was pleased with the spirit they showed.

"We had the chances and we were unlucky," he said.

"I am very happy that we showed this spirit, especially after the red card.

"I think that this period has been better with what we're doing right now, that we're fighting all together, than how it was two or three months ago.

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"We have to look forward, improve and play better of course, but with this spirit.

"In the end, if you play with 10 men then the result is good.

"But if we watch the game back again we're disappointed because I think that we played much better than them. We had lots of chances to win the game.

"I think the first 35 minutes, we played very well. We did exactly what our manager asked of us.

"For 10 minutes in the first half and 10 minutes in the second half, we lost the game.

"I think we lost the mentality, the structure that we had. After the red card, it's difficult."

As for Aubameyang's red card, Sokratis added: "VAR is there to help the referees.

"I didn't show a very good reaction, but we are disappointed this year because we have been a little bit unlucky with VAR.

"We've lost many points. It's not against VAR or referees, we're just unlucky."

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