League One side Blackpool put on a courageous display in their Carabao Cup Fourth Round clash with Premier League giants Arsenal, but ultimately lost 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Goals from Arsenal’s Stephan Lichtsteiner and youngster Emile Smith-Rowe either side of half time put The Gunners 2-0 up, before midfielder Matteo Guendouzi was sent off for a second yellow card offence.
Leeds United loanee Paudie O’Connor scored for The Tangerines to reduce the deficit to just one, but was sent off late on and Terry McPhillips’ side ultimately lost 2-1.
However, McPhillips is only full of pride after his side’s impressive performance at the Emirates Stadium last night.
“What a show, what a performance. We gave them a scare and I thought the lads were terrific to a man. To come here, the best team in Europe at the moment with the run that they’re on and scare them, is brilliant,” McPhillips told the club’s official website.
“The sending off helped, obviously. That got us back in the game, though I felt that they scored from their only two chances. I don’t think Mark Howard has really had a save to make.
“With 11 vs 10, we had them on the back foot. Jay has had half a chance after pinching it off the goalie, and Paudie has hit the cross bar and then scored.
“I thought the referee did great, and his assistants, but I didn’t think Paudie’s was a straight red. I expected a yellow.
“We were in the ascendancy and that was then taken away from us, but full credit to the players because they were brilliant tonight.
“It should hold us in good stead now, I’m hoping. The big game is now Saturday against Bristol Rovers. We’ve got a long journey back so we will rest and recover, be off tomorrow and be back in on Friday for a big game.”