Mertesacker insists Gunners will not wallow in self-pity following Barça defeat

Arsenal centre-back Per Mertesacker has publicly insisted that the Gunners will not feel sorry for themselves following their frustrating 2-0 home defeat against Barcelona in midweek - with tough fixtures in quick succession

Mertesacker insists Gunners will not wallow in self-pity following Barça defeat
Picture source: Getty Images

Arsenal's German centre-back, Per Mertesacker, has publicly insisted the fact that the Gunners will not feel sorry for themselves after their 2-0 home defeat against La Liga giants Barcelona in the Champions League knockout stages during Tuesday evening's enthralling encounter.

A second-half brace courtesy of Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi was enough to put Luis Enrique's side in the driving seat ahead of the return leg at the Nou Camp in three weeks' time.

Gunners eager to avoid self-pity

However, with the north Londoners still in the title race - and an important away trip to Manchester United on Sunday - Mertesacker has said there is no time for players to feel sorry for themselves, especially given the way they were defeated.

Having performed well for 70 minutes, they seemingly crumbled on the counter-attack and were split on the break for the opener - before substitute Mathieu Flamini was penalized for a cynical challenge less than a minute after coming on, and Messi converted from the spot.

Messi wheels away to celebrate one of his two second-half strikes at the Emirates | Photo: Getty
Messi wheels away to celebrate one of his two second-half strikes at the Emirates | Photo: Getty

When asked if his teammates would indulge in any self-pity, the 31-year-old said "no, never."

Mertesacker looking ahead to United trip

"We have never done that this season, particularly when we have lost a game."

In the Europa League round-of-32 yesterday, Louis van Gaal's men came back from a 1-0 deficit (3-1 on aggregate) to thrash Danish side FC Midtjylland by 5 goals to 1 at Old Trafford - with a debut brace from 18-year-old forward Marcus Rashford helping boost spirits in the red half of Manchester.

They host Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, eager to avenge their 3-0 defeat in October at the Emirates - whilst Mertesacker says the team "have a great chance" to prove their worth once more and show they're "still in a strong position", still managing to compete for the title in the latter stages of the campaign.