Mikel Arteta has urged Arsenal to focus on their backs. ‘Big explosion’

Mikel Arteta admits Europa exit Arsenal’s league, in the hands of Sporting, is It was described as a “huge blow” but called on players to lift themselves up as the Premier League title hunt continues.

Gabriel Martinelli saw his penalty saved as a tie-breaking game decided by shoot-out, Sporting won 5-3 following a 1-1 draw at the Emirates. stadium

Granit Xhaka’s first goal since October put the hosts ahead before Pedro Goncalves equalized with a stunning 49 yards.

Manuel Ugarte was sent off in extra time for Sporting. But they survived a few times to win penalties and advance to the quarter-finals.

When asked how disappointing the night was, Arteta replied: “Yes, a big blast.

“We really want to qualify. fight and do it Today we try 120 minutes and shoot-outs. But it’s still not enough.

“When looking at ourselves It started out difficult losing Tomi (Takehiro Tomiyasu) and (William) Saliba and that made it difficult to manage the game because we only had a substitution window. And there are few players who can’t play 90 minutes.

“Still, we didn’t find our rhythm and flow. Allowing too much space, being slow, not holding the ball and losing the ball many times. sometimes time after time

“We created three big chances and couldn’t score. In extra time we showed another incredible energy and a great mentality when it wasn’t the best day for us to go on.

“We had two more big chances and didn’t win. Finally came to the penalty spot and won the lottery. and today is not our way.”

Attention immediately turned to the domestic campaign, with Arsenal seeking an eight-point lead at the top of the table with victory over struggling Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Tightest rivals Manchester City are in the FA Cup and Arteta is keen to stir up some spirits ahead of the Eagles trip.

“Today I didn’t see that at all,” said Arteta when asked if the Europa League exit would be Will the league help drop the Premier League title?

“You qualify and you win, it’s great. If not, and it affects your plans in the league, that’s another story. But we want to get through it.”

“We put everything into it and with the effort the boys Give in when it’s not our best day, individually and collectively. The hunger and desire they showed to win was incredible.

“We really need it. but it doesn’t happen We must keep our eyes on Palace. That’s what it is, there are 11 games and the first starts on Sunday.”

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