Arteta has mixed feelings after Arsenal lose ‘control’, hijacks criticism


Mikel Arteta was frustrated with how Arsenal had lost “control” of their Europa League quarter-final against Slavia Prague.

Arsenal seemed to have gained the advantage in the first leg when Nicolas Pepe broke the deadlock late. However, they conceded an equalizer to Tomas Holes in the downtime to leave things in the balance ahead of the return leg in Prague next week.

Arteta was left in shock after their last league game ended in a loss to Liverpool. He may have felt similar emotions, to a lesser extent, after letting Slavia get back into the tie in such a simple way.

Clearly frustrated with only claiming a draw, he had to separate their mistakes.

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He said BT Sport: “The game is under control, we had achieved the goal we wanted, but we also missed some big chances.

“We played two or three balls that we shouldn’t do and we got on the back foot and conceded the corner.

“They put the bodies in the box and anything can happen. Of course, that changes the feeling after the game. “

Arteta left him late to make substitutions, but the ones he made had an impact. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang prepared Pepe for their goal, for example, after the two came off the bench.

But the Spaniard denied waiting too long to change things.

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He added: “We know we have the potential to make a difference with the five submarines. We thought it was the right time for the setup we had.

“It was the right time to do it and they made a big impact. Unfortunately, we did not capitalize on it. “

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Arteta remains confident

Now Arteta must rally his troops for next week’s return match. Analyzing the game in more detail, he admitted there were issues for Arsenal to tackle, but remains confident about the overall tie.

“It’s difficult because he’s a good opponent. They have beaten big teams and are really difficult to face.

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“They have a lot of man-to-man situations and they have to be resolved. When we did this, we created opportunities, but when you can’t, it’s not easy.

“We were efficient in our high press – they had the ability to run in transition if they got the ball back, but we controlled that well. It’s more about the end result that leaves a tough taste.

“Now we have to go and win the game. We have done this in the past and are sure we can do it again.

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