Clichy hails brave Cesc

Gunners captain playing on despite family concerns

Fabregas: Playing on

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Gael Clichy has saluted Cesc Fabregas for putting aside his off-field concerns and continuing to shine for Arsenal.

The Spain international midfielder opened the scoring in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League clash away to AZ Alkmaar with the Gunners only denied victory by David Mendes da Silva's injury-time leveller.

Fabregas, who missed Spain's clash with Bosnia-Herzegovina last week to be with his seriously ill grandfather, was making his second appearance for the Gunners in four days.

And defender Clichy insists the Emirates Stadium captain is still leading in his usual fashion, with all his team-mates offering him support.

Clichy said: "In the dressing room and on the pitch, Cesc has been a good example for everyone.

"Sometimes you go through bad moments in your life and maybe this is one for him, but we are there for Cesc.

"He showed his character against AZ. I hope everything will be good for him and his family. On the pitch, he is still the big man."

Frustrating

Clichy admitted the Gunners had allowed their concentration to slip and rued the two dropped points in Group H which would have taken them to the brink of qualification for the knockout stages.

He added: "It was frustrating. AZ are a good team and played well even though they did not have many chances. So it was a disappointment to lose two points. It feels like a defeat.

"We played well and we had chances to kill the game off.

"The situation is not too bad but we always want to be the best and we could have got three points.

"Liverpool, Inter and Barcelona all failed to win but we don't care about the other teams. You have to focus from the first minute to the last."