Although no one expected Arsenal to end their adventure in the Europa League so early, the team from London was defeated by Sporting after penalty kicks 1-2. Mikel Arteta believes that his team was not at the right level, which cost them in the end.
“It’s a huge blow. There were moments, especially in the first 75 minutes, that we weren’t at our level,” Arteta said, as quoted by eurosport.com
“We gave every single ball away and we didn’t have the capacity to dominate the game and take the game where we want it.
It’s true that the last 15 minutes and in extra-time we had chances, and when it goes down to penalties there’s a lot of uncertainty, and we lost it.
We didn’t put the ball under pressure enough and whenever we got the ball in dangerous areas, we gave it away.
We gave it away consistently and that created an open transition game that we didn’t want to play”.
Mikel Arteta is thinking about Crystal Palace
The Spanish expert did not forget to congratulate Sporting for advancing to the next round, and his next challenge will be Crystal Palace.
“[Now] we just look at ourselves and why we weren’t good enough to go through.
Congratulate Sporting, then after that we have 11 games and the first one is Palace, which is a final.
Every work we do right now has to be towards Palace and we have to be better than in this game”.
Martin Odegaard, Arsenal's best player this season, believes that this defeat will not define their season, which is one of the best in the last 10 years. Winning the Premier League would certainly be a much greater success than a trophy in any competition this season.
“We have to remember it's been a great season, it's a big blow to go out of this competition. But now we look forward to the league, that's all we can do now,” Odegaard said.
“We win and lose together. It doesn't matter. When we're winning everyone is happy, when we lose we have to pick up the spirit. We win and lose together”.
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