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Beattie salutes team spirit as Gunners roar back in Germany
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John Skilbeck
Stats Perform
Stina Blackstenius and Katie McCabe celebrate Arsenal's equaliser at Wolfsburg
Stina Blackstenius and Katie McCabe celebrate Arsenal's equaliser at Wolfsburg

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."


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