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Bellerin praises Gunners' heart in bid to reach Europe's elite tier

Stoke City 1 Arsenal 4

By Phil Medlicott

Hector Bellerin thought Arsenal showed they have "a lot of heart and character" during Saturday's 4-1 win at Stoke.

The fifth-placed Gunners appeared comfortably on course for three points after Mesut Ozil put them 2-0 up in the 55th minute, adding to Olivier Giroud's opener.

But Stoke pulled a goal back through substitute Peter Crouch's 67th-minute effort that saw the ball go in off his hand.

Arsene Wenger's men responded to that setback in fine style, keeping the Potters at bay before strikes from Alexis Sanchez and Giroud. It keeps alive their hopes of fourth spot, although Liverpool are in pole position.

Arsenal full-back Bellerin, who provided assists for his side's first and third goals, said: "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 (in the Champions League) and we've shown that (against Stoke). We knew that we were playing for our lives, 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."

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