Arteta refuses to get carried away by Arsenal's spirited fightback

Arteta's side ensured their quarterfinal clash remains finely balanced thanks to Leandro Trossard's late equaliser

By AFP

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

 

Arsenal's Leandro Trossard celebrates scoring their second goal with Kai Havertz. — Reuters
Arsenal's Leandro Trossard celebrates scoring their second goal with Kai Havertz. — Reuters

Published: Wed 10 Apr 2024, 8:54 PM

Mikel Arteta has warned Arsenal to learn from their costly mistakes in Tuesday's dramatic 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich if they want to reach the Champions League semifinals.

Arteta's side ensured their quarterfinal clash remains finely balanced thanks to Leandro Trossard's late equaliser in the first leg at the Emirates Stadium.


Arsenal's old tormentor-in-chief Harry Kane had ignored a hostile reception from Gunners fans to mark his return to north London with the ice-cool penalty that put Bayern 2-1 up in the first half.

Former Tottenham striker Kane's sixth career goal at the Emirates came after ex-Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry cancelled out Bukayo Saka's early opener for the Gunners.


It was a frustrating evening for Arsenal, who looked hesitant at times in their first Champions League quarter-final since 2010.

The Premier League leaders have been in red-hot form in 2024, while Bayern have stumbled through a crisis-torn campaign.

But Arsenal's status as favourites to advance to the last four was undone by some uncharacteristically sloppy defending.

Arteta urged his players to use the experience as a valuable tool to make amends in the second leg in Munich on April 17.

"We will go again in Munich. We are alive. The game became difficult and they understand they have to step up the level," he said.

"We have made some mistakes today. Lets learn from it. These players have been unbelievable. It's part of football. Lets support them.

"I sense the belief there. We are going to go to Munich and have a chance to win it. We're going to be better in certain areas and that's how we are going to prepare it."

Arteta admitted Bayern's impressive first half had rattled his team, but he was impressed with the way they regained their composure after the interval.

"The second goal created some insecurity in the team but after we reacted well. It's easy to throw your toys away when things don't go right," he said.

"The subs, especially Leandro and Gabriel (Jesus), made a huge impact with their body language and the initiative they took to make things happen."

Saka was convinced he should have been awarded a penalty in the final seconds when Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer appeared to make contact with the Arsenal winger.

But replays suggested Saka had initiated the contact and Arteta refused to be drawn on the controversy, saying only that he "hadn't seen the image again" and "can't change" the decision.

Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel bemoaned a separate penalty incident that didn't go his side's way.

Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes inexplicably picked up the ball following a David Raya goal-kick in the 66th minute.

Yet Swedish referee Glenn Nyberg opted against awarding a spot-kick.

"I know it was a crazy situation. They put the ball down, he whistles and the defender takes the ball with his hands," Tuchel said.

"What makes us really angry is the explanation on the pitch. He told our players it was a 'kid's mistake' and he won't give a penalty for that in a Champions League quarter-final.

"It's a horrible explanation. Kid's mistake, adult's mistake, whatever. We feel angry because it was a huge decision against us."

A crucial miss by Leroy Sane -- who allowed Ben White to get back to tackle him after he ran clear on goal -- stopped the six-time European champions going 3-1 up in the first half.

But after a traumatic season that leaves Bayern almost certain to surrender the Bundesliga title to Bayer Leverkusen, Tuchel could have few complaints about his side's battling display.

"It wasn't easy, especially after we conceded early. The Arsenal fans were incredible, they pushed them. We scored with our first attack and the body language and confidence changed.

"There are no away goals anymore. We are happy with what we showed and we start from 0-0 next week.

"Next week we will have the decision. It is only half-time."

ALSO READ:


More news from Sports