‘We are still very much in tie’ says Mikel Arteta as Arsenal lose 2-1 to Villarreal

Arsenal lost 2-1 to Villarreal in the UEFA Europa League. Nicolas Pepe scored from the penalty spot.


The Gunners lost 2-1 to Spanish club Villarreal in the UEFA Europa league semi finals first leg on Thursday night. Facing former manager Unai Emery’s men, Arsenal trailed by two goals to nil in the first half itself. However a second half spot kick from Nicolas Pepe ensured that they got an away goal in the bah before they welcome Villarreal back at the Emirates.

Mikel Arteta says his team was disorganised in the first half

Villarreal looked to take the tie away from Arsenal in the first half as they were two to the goods. Unai Emery’s side looked confident in possession and threatened the Arsenal goal on several occasions. With two down at halftime, Mikel Arteta acknowledged that his side were poorly organized and lacked the urge and intensity. However he says that in the second half they were a completely different team.

Bukayo Saka earned the visitors a penalty which was converted by Nicolas Pepe in the 73rd minute to still keep Arsenal in the tie. Arteta believes that the semifinals is still not done and they can definitely turn things around. They reached the final of the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League wherein they lost to Chelsea 4-1.

They were two different halves. We started to be us. In the first half, there were so many moments that we weren’t us. We weren’t clear with our high press, we were disorganised, we were not precise with the ball and we didn’t have enough control.

We didn’t have enough threat or desire to attack the box but in the second half it was completely different.I am confident, we have a chance to win [the tie], that’s for sure.”

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