Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin bemoaned missed opportunities in the 2-0 Champions League loss at home to Barcelona but insisted the Londoners remain upbeat about their chances of qualifying for the last eight.
Bellerin and Co. came unstuck against Barca in the opening leg of the Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday, with Lionel Messi’s second-half brace putting the title holders in the box seat.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud had opportunities to score for Arsenal though neither found the back of the net, leaving the Premier League side with a mountain to climb heading to Camp Nou next month.
Speaking afterwards, Bellerin told reporters: “We have had several chances to score first. It is hard against a time like this one and when you do not score, if they have chances, they can score. The first one was in a counter-attack and the second one in a penalty.
“We have the heads up. We will face the second-leg as we did with this first-leg. We are a side that play good and we still have a chance. It is something very difficult, but we never give up.
“We have been a compact side. But were not as lucky as they were. We know we need to be more lethal.”
Bellerin – a Barca youth academy product who swapped the Catalans for Arsenal in 2011 – added: “Facing Barcelona was very special to me. That is where I was grown up.
“But I defend another shirt now and I am so proud of representing Arsenal.”
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech also lamented his team’s wastefulness in front of goal at the Emirates Stadium.
“It is frustrating. The difference has been that they took advantage of their chances,” Cech said.
“It is obvious their second goal makes it very difficult to us. The only thing we did not do right was taking advantage of our chances. In this kind of games you need to be profitable with your chances.”
“In the first goal I knew Messi could score at the first touch and that is why I went to the floor. Then I just wanted that my team-mates could reach the goal before the ball. But it was not possible.”