Cole hails battling Blues

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Ashley Cole insists Chelsea's 4-1 drubbing of Arsenal proved once again they have the character to bounce back from footballing adversity.

The Blues inflicted Arsenal's heaviest home defeat for 32 years just days after crashing out of the Champions League in the most unsavoury of circumstances.

"Against Arsenal we showed how good we are. We didn't get in too many battles or too many fights this time. The lads have done well," said Cole.

Chelsea clinched an automatic place in next season's competition thanks to goals from Alex, Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda and a Kolo Toure own goal.

But the club are expected to feel the wrath of UEFA following the controversial scenes at the end of their 1-1 draw with Barcelona last week.

Chelsea are almost certain to be charged with failing to control their players while Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack will be lucky to escape punishment after confronting referee Tom Henning Ovrebo.

Chelsea's players were criticised by all quarters for their reaction to Ovrebo's decision to reject four penalty appeals, but Cole is adamant Sunday's's win over Arsenal demonstrated their desire to repair some of the damage.

Cole added: "As players we know there are a lot of strong emotions in football and sometimes when you haven't kicked a ball you can't talk about those emotions and you don't understand," declared Cole.

"A lot of people would have thought we'd all be down and out, but we showed a lot of character. At times we defended really well and now we've clinched third spot.

"Everyone's disappointed when you lose in the semi-final of the Champions League. It's life and there is nothing we can do about it. The players here have got great character. I have played with a lot of big players, but at Chelsea they seem to be able to motivate themselves very quickly. It showed against Arsenal and it had to show."

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Didier Drogba
Ashley Cole
Nicolas Anelka
Florent Malouda
Premier League
Kolo Toure
Michael Ballack
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