Players gave everything - Andre
Andre Villas-Boas said the players could be proud of their efforts after playing with 10 men for over 70 minutes of Saturday’s derby defeat at Arsenal.
We looked good in the opening exchanges and went ahead through Emmanuel Adebayor in the 10th minute.
Unfortunately, ‘Ade’ was sent off in the 18th minute after a challenge with Santi Cazorla and the Gunners hit back to lead 3-1 at half-time.
Andre switched from a 4-4-1 to a 3-4-2 system for the second half, taking on Arsenal’s three attacking players head-to-head in a bid to get back into the game.
Olivier Giroud made it 4-1 on the hour but Gareth Bale’s strike hinted at a possible revival at 4-2 with 20 minutes left. We then missed two chances at 4-2 – Gareth and Jermain Defoe – that might have changed things again but Theo Walcott had the final word for 5-2 in added time.
“It’s a difficult result to take,” said Andre.
“At 3-1 at half-time, with 10 men, you are in for a route, or the possibility of being shamed, but we can be proud of ourselves and I think the fans should be proud of the players. I’m sure they are. They have been tremendous.
“We came out in the second half playing three against three at the back and we knew if we could bring the scoreline back to a one-goal difference, the match doesn’t finish this way. That’s the reality.
“Two moments of the game were decisive – the third goal before half-time, which made our job more difficult, and our chances to go to 4-3 with Bale and then Defoe. Certainly, if one of those chances went in...
“Obviously, football is driven by results. We are disappointed by what has happened, and our position in the league at the moment, but our belief is strong.”