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Hector Bellerin overcomes shaky first half to help bury Bayern Munich

UEFA Champions League 2014/15 Round of 16 First Leg Arsenal v Monaco Emirates Stadium, Hornsey Rd, London, United Kingdom - 25 Feb 2015

Heading into Tuesday’s Champions League clash between Arsenal and Bayern Munich, few people expected the Gunners to take home a victory.  The match began as a very entertaining one for fans of either club (or neutrals), as both clubs had their chances to go ahead in the the first half of the match.  Bayern controlled much of the first 45 minutes with nearly 70% possession, however the north London outfit did have their fair share of shots at goal due to counter attacks.  In perhaps the most talked about moment during the first half was when Bayern’s Douglas Costa (who is one of the top signings of the summer) absolutely spun around Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin with a lovely piece of skill (as seen HERE).

READ MORE: Wenger: ‘Intense and disciplined’ effort key to Arsenal’s victory over Bayern

While the aforementioned play did not result in a goal for the German giants, Costa was brilliant throughout the massive match and was the best Bayern player going forward.  Despite the rough first half for Bellerin, the youngster came out of the halftime break with his head up high and was determined to improve as the game went on.  The Arsenal right back looked like a completely different player for the second half of the match.

As overmatched as Bellerin appeared to be in the first half, he was calm, in control and resolute in the final 45 minutes of the match.  The U-21 Spain international’s fine second half display culminated in the 93 minute as he showed off his lightning quick pace to steal the ball away from a Bayern player, skip past a defender and cooly square the ball to midfielder Mesut Özil for the final nail in the Bayern coffin (as seen HERE).

The strength of character that Bellerin’s showed is phenomenal for a 20-year-old.  Not only was the defender fantastic Tuesday night, but he rebounded mid-match against one of the top teams in the world.  Heading into the game at the Emirates, Bayern had not even dropped a point in 11 collective Bundesliga and Champions League matches this season.  In fact, the Germans had racked up 37 total goals in these 11 matches, while only allowing four during this stretch.

Nevertheless, the great performance from Bellerin was certainly not his first of the current campaign.  The former Barcelona player has been rated as the number one right back of the Premier League so far by Whoscored.com, and is widely regarded as one of the highest-rated players in his position of his age group.

A further look into the statistics of Bellerin, and other Premier League right backs 25 and under, prove just how well-rounded the Arsenal player is.  

   H. Bellerin    M. Darmian      N. Clyne     K. Walker    C. Soares
Clearances          31*          18          20          22          31*
Interceptions          21          15          16          27*          20
Fouls Committed          2*          12           7          10          10
Chances Created         10*           4           5           6          10*
Key Passes          9*           4           5           6           9*
Take on %        74%*         25%          57%         18%         54%
Pass Comp. %        83%         84%*          78%         77%         74%

Bellerin obviously still has room for improvement, however, the 20-year-old is on his way to competing for a spot in the Premier League Team of the Year for seasons to come.  It certainly appears that manager Arsene Wenger has uncovered yet another gem.

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. mark williamson

    October 22, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Bellerin was very impressive. He has incredible speed and a real desire to win. What a player Arsenal have in this young man. Also, Giroud will start keeping his nay-sayers at bay with his determination. He has really come along.

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