Every word from Arteta’s post-Sporting CP presser | Press conference | News

Mikel Arteta couldn’t hide his disappointment after seeing his side exit the Europa League on penalties against Sporting.

We were eliminated from the competition despite taking the lead in the first half and there was more bad news as Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba were both eliminated in the first 20 minutes.

After the game, the manager spoke to the media where he discussed the performance, injuries and returning to Premier League action against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Here’s a full transcript of his post-match press conference…

On a disappointing evening…

A big hit. We really wanted to come through and compete and strive for it. Today we tried for 120 minutes and with penalties, but it wasn’t enough. First of all, congratulations to Sporting CP for progressing. Looking at ourselves, the game started difficult for us. Obviously we lost Tomi very early in the game and we lost Saliba. That really left us with difficult management in the game. We only had one window to make the substitutions and some players couldn’t play for 90 minutes. But we still didn’t find our rhythm and our flow. We allowed too many places, were late and didn’t win enough duels there. We’ve given the ball away many, many times. Sometimes again and again. And then in the last 20 minutes we got the flow and momentum, got a lot more into the last third and created three big chances and we didn’t score. I think when we went into overtime we showed incredible energy and top mentality again when it wasn’t our best day to go on. We still had two big chances, we didn’t win and in the end it went to penalties, it’s a lottery and today it didn’t go our way.

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On Tomiyasu and Saliba’s injuries…

Tomiyasu looks pretty serious for his instant reaction and what he said to me. Obviously it’s very early and hard to know. William, I don’t know. He had some ailments and couldn’t continue, so we had to take him off.

Whether Premier League run-in injuries will do lasting damage…

I don’t know. We’ve had injuries all season. Emile was out four months, Gabriel Jesus four months, Alex two and a half months, Thomas a month and a half, Eddie a month and a half. We’ve had a lot of injuries, but we got over it. The disappointment will not go away, the disappointment is there now, but it brings clarity. There are 11 games to play now, 11 Premier League games and we have a final against Crystal Palace. We need to get all that energy back there and focus on that and play better than today. Give the same effort as today and win.

Whether the representation of Gabriel Jesus was planned…

Yes, and we went for it because we had to manage the subs and thank god we got him out, especially after the two windows we had to use in the first half, but that was the plan and it came from one injury too. We knew the game could go into overtime and we have to do that and he looked okay.

Could this defeat be a blessing in disguise?

I can’t see it like that today. I don’t know if you go through the competition and win it’s great, if not then it affects your plans in the league, that’s another story. We wanted to go through and we put everything into it, the effort the lads put in when it wasn’t our best day, individually and collectively, the hunger and will to win they showed, the way they drove back , was amazing, she really wanted it and today it didn’t happen. We have to keep our heads up, look towards Crystal Palace, there are 11 games left, the first starts on Sunday.

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How Gabriel Martinelli will react after the shooting…

He will react well. He’s obviously disappointed today, we all are, when you make those decisions that possibility is always there. He will learn from it like Bukayo has done in the past and move on.

If we have to completely forget tonight…

No, because we gave everything. It wasn’t our day, we weren’t at our best individually and collectively, but they gave absolutely everything they could on this pitch, but it wasn’t enough, but if we do better on Sunday than what we did today , we have a great chance to win the game.

On the message in the dressing room full-time…

Only that we are all disappointed and have to see for ourselves. There are things we need to do better to have a bigger lead to win the game and not rely on the last 20 minutes or overtime or a penalty shootout to progress in the competition. Now it’s 11 games and that’s the only focus we have and everyone’s thinking of one thing, that’s Palace and being in the best of mental and physical shape, lots of clarity and all the energy is there for Sunday.

Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted on condition that appropriate credit is given to as the source.

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