Mikel Arteta was pleased to see Arsenal go through in the Europa League but was critical of his side’s woeful display against Olympiacos.
Mikel Arteta saw his Arsenal side reach the Europa League quarter-finals despite losing at home to 10-man Olympiakos. The Spanish manager has now declared they must improve in the next round or be knocked out.
The Gunners were beaten 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night. A familiar face in Youssef El-Arabi scored against Arsenal for the third game in a row.
Recalled skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a number of good chances to kill off the tie but a 3-1 win in Greece last week was enough to see the Gunners go through.
The Arsenal boss has warned his players they would not be going any further in the competition except they improve on their latest Europa League performance.
Asked if they will be out if they play as badly in the next round, Arteta said as per the club’s website: ‘Yes, because what we have to do, the way we are set up, the organisation we have and the way we want to play, we have to be much more efficient, much more simple, much more cohesive as a team.”
“Without that structure you are exposed when you lose the ball in really dangerous areas without any opposition.”
“When you do that, and we did that as well where we created chance after chance, but again, we want to be in the competition, and when you have four, five, six big chances in Europe you have to put them away and then the tie is over.”
Elsewhere, Mislav Oršić stunned Tottenham with a hat-trick as the Gunners’ rivals suffered a shock exit from the Europa League. Arteta further used that to explain how tricky the Europa League can be.
He added: “It shows as well the level of opposition, that people take for granted that you play against an opponent and you will go through, because the name of the club that they represent.”
“It is not like that, every team in Europe is difficult to beat.”
Arsenal will be waiting to see their next opponents in the Europa League when the draw takes place on Friday.