Arsenal began their quest to win a third FA Cup in a row on Saturday against Sunderland, and although Arsene Wenger made big changes from his first choice side they still carried the day with a 3-1 win over the Black Cats.
Hector Bellerin had a big part to play in two of the goals and after the game he made it clear that the Gunners were going all out to create history in this competition. “That is the goal of the whole team,” he said on the official Arsenal website. “We love this competition and the fans love this competition so we need to try and do our best. We are trying to get the third in a row.
“We knew it would be a hard game. It is always hard in the third round of the FA Cup. We had a tough opponent and a lot of changes so we had to adapt to that. We didn’t start really well but the team responded like it should. It was a great effort by the team and it was very nice to get through to the next round.
“They started pressing really high and we knew we had to be a bit safe when playing the ball. Sometimes we make mistakes and that is normal but we knew how to respond to it. The team was up to the challenge. We didn’t rush the game and we knew we had to be patient. It is nice to get the three goals and that is confidence for the team as we have a difficult week ahead.”
We now have two tough away trips to Liverpool and Stoke City coming up in the next week, so Wenger will have to make full use of the squad to keep fresh legs on the pitch. Bellerin doesn’t think this will be a problem. “The legs are fine and we have shown that we have very good players on the bench,” he said. “The rotation helps us get good results. We have a lot of games and they are all hard games but we have to respond in the way we did today and I’m sure we will be fine.”
Liverpool had an even bigger glut of games than Arsenal lately and believe it or not they even have more injuries than we have, so there is no reason why a fresh Gunners side cannot stay clear at the top of the table. The game at Stoke may be a bigger worry…..