Mikel Arteta has warned Arsenal’s players that they must improve ‘massively’ if they are to compete for major silverware after Thursday’s upset. 2-2 draw with Sporting CP.
The Gunners went ahead midway through the first half through William Saliba but were rewarded twice for the second game in a row as they chased down the match.
Sporting midfielder Hidemasa Morita inadvertently headed Granit Xhaka’s cross into the back of his own net to earn Arsenal a first-leg draw, with Arteta not particularly impressed.
“It’s true that it’s something we have to improve massively if we want to keep winning games,” he told BT Sport.
“When you concede two poor goals like we did away from home in Europe, it’s very difficult to get a positive result. We conceded a lot of simple balls.
“We didn’t defend well today, and we have to do better against our opponents.”
Arsenal have kept just two clean sheets in their last ten games in all competitions, conceding 12 goals during that time, and Arteta warned his side that they cannot afford to continue with their sloppy defensive performances.
“We’re conceding a lot of easy goals and we’ve talked about the importance of the pits, and especially in a competition where you’re in or out,” he explained. “We didn’t defend that well today, and we have to do better against our opponents.
“We’ve played a lot of emotional games recently, and we made a lot of changes today, which means it takes some time to settle in. You could feel us adjusting and clicking in the first 10-15 minutes. It took some time. But if we don’t expose them, it will never happen.”
On this edition of The Chronicles of a GoonerPart of the 90 Minute Podcast Network, Harry Symeo Reaction to Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Sporting CP in the Europa League.
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