Hector Bellerin has admitted that Arsenal discovered an uncomfortable truth at Anfield on Monday night.
The thoughtful defender conceded that his side were outplayed by Liverpool – who he accepts are “a better team” than the Gunners, and on a different level right now.
But for Bellerin, the task now is build the transformation Mikel Arteta has achieved at the club, and begin the hard slog of closing the gap to the top, which the Merseyside club has widened so impressively in the past two years.
“I think they haven’t lost a game here in the League in years,” he said of the Champions.
“To be fair, it is the normal to come here and lose nowadays – the truth is right now they are a better team than us.
a man with a football ball on a field: Hector Bellerin in action against Liverpool© Pool via REUTERS Hector Bellerin in action against Liverpool
“But we have made it really, really difficult for them. We had the chances to even go to 2-2 and make it a different game. so we are getting better every time.
“We have to come here on Thursday again and we will give them another battle and that’s what is important for us, to believe and keep creating.”
Liverpool exposed a stark reality for the London club – their classy display possessing a controlled power that was simply too overwhelming for Arsenal.
It highlighted the distance the Gunners still have to travel under Mikel Arteta if they are to ever present a credible challenge at the top of the Premier League.
Arsenal are now winless in 28 Premier League away games against the other established top-six teams, since a 2-0 triumph at Manchester City in January 2015.
Incredibly, they have conceded 64 goals in those 27 matches, but Bellerin believes there is a different atmosphere and a different mentality at the Emirates since Arteta arrived, and believes the task now is the translate that into convincing results.
“The dressing room is frustrated. There is a hunger in this team that wasn’t there the last few years and we want to win every single game,” he said.
“This team believed that we could (go) to Liverpool and get a result. For us to not get that is very frustrating, but we know we have another chance redeem ourselves. So we are not going to let this get to us.
“We have been working really well, we have been getting results that people didn’t even believe we could get and, building on from the end of last season, I think the team is working really hard.
“Every game we understand each other more and I am very positive about what this season holds for us.”
Liverpool exposed Arsenal’s build up from the back with an intense pressing game that eventually cracked the visiting defence, but Bellerin is adamant they will not change their style…just get better at it.
“This is our game. This is what we have been training since Mikel has been here, so just because a team is the best in Europe at doing that (pressing), doesn’t mean we change the way we play,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter how good the other team is, we have an identity, we have a way of playing football, and that’s how we create our chances.
“Just because they are so good at it doesn’t mean we need to change. We should all be proud that we stick by what we know. Sometimes it is difficult. We just need to keep working and getting better to win these type of games.”