Rice hails battling Gunners

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Assistant manager Pat Rice praised the battling qualities shown by Arsenal against Borussia Dortmund and believes the team have turned the corner.

The Gunners were denied victory in their Champions League Group F encounter at Signal Iduna Park as an exquisite volley from substitute Ivan Perisic secured a last-gasp 1-1 draw. It looked as if Robin van Persie had snatched Arsenal an unlikely victory in Germany after withstanding a barrage of attacks before the home side struck a late blow.

"We battled really hard and we knew it would be a hard, hard game," said Rice, the man charged with leading the side in light of manager Arsene Wenger's touchline ban.

"To be able to defend well is a high quality skill and that is something all of our players did. I shouldn't think many teams will come to Dortmund and beat them and we were very, very close to doing that.

"Don't forget Dortmund are a really good side. There is no question about that. Would we have liked to have won the game? Of course we would. We were so close and so very, very near.

"But the same thing happened to us in terms of the goal as happened when we played arch rivals Tottenham and the boy (Danny) Rose hit an unbelievable shot from about 35 yards.

"It was the same this evening. I should imagine that he could try that 25, 30, 40 times and he would hit it over the bar or at the goalkeeper. It was a great goal."


Tuesday's hard-fought result followed the 1-0 defeat of Swansea at the weekend. Wenger admitted on Monday he hoped for a win that would kick-start their season but, despite the late equaliser, Rice believes the draw can have the same effect.

Asked whether Arsenal have turned the corner, he said: "Very much so. It seemed, especially the game on Saturday, it was our start of the season.

"Because of the uncertainty as to who the players would be that leave us and whether they wouldn't. The players that we have acquired are very, very good players, contrary to what other people have said. I have no doubt that they will show it and in the games to come."

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