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Nov, 7, 2012

Stevens joy at Schalke grit

Schalke boss Huub Stevens was proud of the spirit demonstrated by his players as they fought back from two goals down against Arsenal to clinch a vital point.

• Blog: Circumstantial let down
• Walcott: I deserved to start

Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud handed Arsenal a two-goal advantage but Klaas-Jan Huntelaar pulled a goal back for the hosts before Jefferson Farfan levelled in the second half.

The result sees Schalke top of Champions League Group B with matches against Olympiakos and Montpellier remaining.

Stevens said: "We could have won, but we also could have lost. In the end we are pleased with the result. We have won four points in the matches against the favourites in our group."

The Dutch coach felt his team's display in the opening 15 minutes was "probably the best I've seen this season" while he reserved praise for the mental toughness shown as they recovered from going behind.

He said: "All of a sudden we were 2-0 down. That certainly was very disappointing. We digested the shock and demonstrated our morale."

The result was, however, soured by the injuries to Atsuto Uchida, who tore a muscle in his thigh, and Marco Hoger, who after replacing the injured Uchida picked up a ligament injury. The duo will be sidelined for around two weeks.

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