Arsenal showed we have character in Chelsea draw - Xhaka

Arsenal 2019-20
The Gunners twice came from behind with 10 men to pick up a precious point at Stamford Bridge

Granit Xhaka believes Arsenal have silenced those that claim the club lacks character after they claimed an impressive 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Tuesday

The Gunners were reduced to 10 men in the 26th minute after David Luiz was shown a red card for a foul on Tammy Abraham which also resulted in Jorginho putting the Blues ahead from the spot. 

Despite that numerical disadvantage, Mikel Arteta's side showed plenty of spirit with Gabriel Martinelli equalising in the 63rd minute. 

Cesar Azpilicueta put Chelsea ahead once again in the 84th minute only for Hector Bellerin to pull Arsenal level minutes later as the Gunners claimed a memorable point. 

The draw sees Arteta's side jump up to 10th in the Premier League with Xhaka declaring the side sent a clear message with the manner of their performance. 

"We played very well after the red card. So difficult, but we showed great team spirit," Xhaka told BT Sport.

"We were speaking at half time that we can do it and we came twice back so I am very proud of this team.

"After this game nobody will have to speak about us. We showed big character. A lot of people say we have no character in the team, so after this game we showed we have."

Xhaka, who looks set to stay put at the Emirates after being linked with a move away, filled in for Luiz at centre-back after the Brazilian's dismissal. 

While happy to help the team out, the Swiss international admits the position is not somewhere he hopes to find himself regularly. 

"I hope centre-back is not my new position, but the gaffer knows I can play there," Xhaka said. "I tried to help the team, and the guys around me made it easy for me today."

Arsenal have now drawn their past three matches and while desperate for a win, Arteta can take some heart from his side's desire to salvage a point. 

Article continues below

"Time will tell if this is a stepping stone, but at least I saw a reaction," he told BT Sport.

"I demand from the players that they never give up, we have to keep playing with the spirit we showed in every game. I'm proud of the way they reacted.

"They stepped up - if a teammate makes a mistake they have to have their back. It's a good point in the end."

Close