Gunners duo praise character
Laurent Koscielny and Samir Nasri hailed the improvement in Arsenal's character following the Barca win.
Last Updated: 17/02/11 11:32am
Laurent Koscielny and Samir Nasri have both hailed the improvement in Arsenal's character following Wednesday's victory over Barcelona.
The Gunners duo played the full game at Emirates Stadium as Arsene Wenger's men recorded a famous 2-1 triumph in the UEFA Champions League last 16.
They now take a slender lead to Spain for the return leg at Camp Nou on 8th March, hoping to avoid a heavy defeat similar to last season, when they suffered a 6-3 aggregate reverse in the quarter-finals.
Defender Koscielny, 25, was at fault for Barca's opener after failing in his offside attempt, but was strong throughout the contest and praised Arsenal's desire.
"In the first half they kept the ball for themselves. We ran a lot," he told Canal+.
"We made a mistake conceding the goal, I should not have tried to play offside.
"But we came back with more desire - everyone gave 200 per cent.
"First we will savour the result. The return match will be more difficult. We will have to put more effort in both on defence and attack."
French midfielder Nasri had been struggling with injury in the build-up to the match but also managed to last the whole game.
The 23-year-old was delighted with his side's maturity but knows it will be even more difficulty away from home.
He remarked: "We improved well. We showed more maturity, it was different than last season.
"At half-time we knew if we could put them under pressure we could get back.
"We must not forget 2-1 is just a small victory and there is a return match at Camp Nou."
On his recent injury, he added: "I didn't think I could hold on for 90 minutes, but I didn't feel any pain."