Koscielny buoyed by fighting spirit as Arsenal snatch late win to leap to second in Premier League

Laurent Koscielny has reiterated that Arsenal need more of the grit they showed in the 2-1 win over Burnley yesterday if they are to get their hands on silverware this season.

A late, late penalty coolly slotted home by Alexis Sanchez gave the Gunners the three points in a game that ended with high drama — and which had been preceded by a bit of a dull affair.

The game was a plodding stalemate until Shkodran Mustafi’s headed home his first Gunners goal in the 59th-minute, and Arsene Wenger’s side were expected to go on and win comfortably.

But then Burnley got a late leveller from the spot, an irate Arsene Wenger was sent to the stands where he then pushed fourth official Anthony Taylor — and Koscielny was booted in the head to prompt the penalty. Oh, and before that Granit Xhaka was red-carded leaving the home side down to 10 men.

Koscielny says the fighting spirit shown by his team-mates to claw their way back into the fray — and into second in the table eight points behind league leaders Chelsea — was a welcome sight.

He said:

“It was hard because we conceded a goal just after the 90th minute and we knew we only had seven minutes to win this game.”

“We had an opportunity to get the goal from a penalty and Alexis scored. So 2-1, it’s important for our confidence, to keep our winning run and, with the results of the weekend, it was a massive three points.”

“We played well for an hour and when we went down to 10 men we needed to show character. Not just play nice football but to help your team-mates, to fight together and to have a block like you need together.”

“All the players who were on the pitch did the job and when you fight for your team-mates and for your club, you get the result in the end. I had one opportunity to score and I won a penalty.”