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Wilshere: Arsenal must show character after derby defeat

PUBLISHED: 17:31 10 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:31 10 February 2018

Tottenham Hotspur's Erik Lamela (left) exchanges words with Arsenal's Jack Wilshere after being shown a yellow card by referee Anthony Taylor (pic John Walton/PA)

Tottenham Hotspur's Erik Lamela (left) exchanges words with Arsenal's Jack Wilshere after being shown a yellow card by referee Anthony Taylor (pic John Walton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Jack Wilshere says Arsenal need to show their character now after losing the north London derby at Wembley.

Arsenal's Shkodran Mustafi separates Jack Wilshere (left) and Tottenham Hotspur's Kieran Trippier at Wembley Stadium (pic John Walton/PA)Arsenal's Shkodran Mustafi separates Jack Wilshere (left) and Tottenham Hotspur's Kieran Trippier at Wembley Stadium (pic John Walton/PA)

The Gunners had the better of the opening stages against Tottenham, before Harry Kane sent a good headed chance over the crossbar.

But the hosts claimed the only goal of the match early in the second half as Kane nodded in from a Ben Davies’ cross, as Alexandre Lacazette saw a late effort drift wide of the far post.

Defeat left Arsenal seven points behind their neighbours in the race for a top-four spot and Wilshere told arsenal.com: “The game was there in the first half, they were a bit cagey and we defended well.

“We got down on the counter-attack a few times in the first half and looked like we could have really hurt them, but then we had our final ball where we rushed it and the chance was gone.

Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier (left) and Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan battle for the ball (pic John Walton/PA)Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier (left) and Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan battle for the ball (pic John Walton/PA)

“We’ll look back and take somme positives, but at the end of the day, it was a big game for us and we lost, we’re not happy.

“We have to deal with it now. We’ve lost the game and we have to move on and focus on the next game and try to win the next game.

“In the past this team has always shown good character and we need to put a run together now and give ourselves a decent chance of challenging.”

Goalkeeper Petr Cech echoed those sentiments, adding: “If you look at the table, we needed to win this game to clsoe the gap and we couldn’t do so.

Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette looks dejected after seeing a late chance go wide at Wembley Stadium (pic Victoria Jones/PA)Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette looks dejected after seeing a late chance go wide at Wembley Stadium (pic Victoria Jones/PA)

“If you don’t support those two clubs then you will not really be able to imagine it, but we all know how much it means to everyone and obviously we are disappointed. Not only because we lost the north London derby, but because it’s very disappointing for the fans. As I said, the position we were in in the table before this game, it put us in a position where we had to win and we didn’t even get a point so it is very disappointing and very difficult.

“I think in this type of game you need to take your chances and I know that we had two at the end, but unfortunately we didn’t take them. I said before the game that it was a game with a huge importance, not only because it was the derby and this is the most important game for our fans, but because of the position in the table. We were behind, we needed to close the gap - and we failed to do so.”

Arsenal now turn their attention to their Europa League last-32 clash with Swedish club Ostersunds on Thursday.

Arsene Wenger’s men are favourites to go through, but face wintry conditions in Sweden, with temperatures down at minus 19 last week.

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