Beattie salutes team spirit as Gunners roar back in Germany
Jen Beattie hailed Arsenal's "unbelievable character" as they stayed alive in their Women's Champions League semi-final by rallying for a 2-2 draw at Wolfsburg.
An impressive fightback from 2-0 down gave the Gunners reason to be buoyant about their chances for the May 1 second leg at Emirates Stadium.
With ACL victims Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema and Leah Williamson absent, the weakened Londoners gave a strong account of themselves after a slow start in Germany.
Ewa Pajor put the hosts ahead and Sveindis Jane Jonsdottir fired Wolfsburg two clear in the 24th minute after a defensive aberration from the Gunners, with a misunderstanding in the penalty area presenting the Icelandic forward with an easy chance in front of goal.
Arsenal snatched a lifeline through Rafaelle Souza's header just before half-time and Stina Blackstenius tucked in an equaliser from close range in the 69th minute.
Player of the match Beattie said: "I think the team showed unbelievable character to come back from a two-goal deficit.
"We're pleased with the result but it's very much half-time for us. We're looking forward to going back to the Emirates next week with a blank slate."
Wolfsburg edged the expected goals (xG) totals by 2.32 to 1.40, having 12 shots to seven from Arsenal, but the teams are level-pegging and defender Beattie put that down to the WSL team's resilience.
The Scot, 31, added: "We've shown that this whole season — the character, the mentality we all have and the genuine belief between players.
"We're really happy we came back from 2-0 down. That's a huge feat, especially against a side as good as Wolfsburg.
"We had the ultimate respect for them and we still do going into the second leg."
Arsenal are hoping for a sell-out for the second leg as they bid to move a step nearer to becoming European champions for a second time following their triumph in 2007.
Beattie said: "Even the away fans that travelled today have been unbelievable, especially hearing them towards the end of the game.
"I've no doubt they'll be unbelievable again for us next week."