Mikel Arteta unhappy with ‘unacceptable’ Arsenal defending after Olympiacos defeat

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal's defending was 'unacceptable' in their loss to Olympiacos
Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s defending was ‘unacceptable’ in their loss to Olympiacos (Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has hit out at ‘unacceptable’ defending from Arsenal following their defeat to Olympiacos in the Europa League on Thursday evening.

The second leg was forced to extra time but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s overhead kick in the 113th minute appeared to book the Gunners’ place in the last-16 of the Europa League.

But Bernd Leno’s failure to clear the ball from a corner saw Olympiacos swing the ball back into Arsenal’s box and Youssef El-Arabi struck from close range to secure a last-gasp victory for the Greek side.

‘Obviously he [Leno] could have kicked it out, but after that there is another situation to defend,’ said Arteta.

Bernd Leno and David Luiz made mistakes which led to Arsenal's exit in the Europa League
Bernd Leno and David Luiz made mistakes which led to Arsenal’s exit in the Europa League (Getty Images)

‘And it’s not only the first phase, it’s the second phase of that corner we concede and the player steps in and just taps the ball in the six-yard box which is unacceptable and something we have to improve on.

‘We’ve done the most difficult thing to react after that and play against a team with 10 men behind the ball in 25 metres.

‘Even at the end we had an incredible opportunity to win it.

‘If we would have gone through, energy wise it would have given us a big lift again and bring everybody together.

‘It’s a big disappointment and I’m right behind the boys, the way they played, the way they tried, the effort that they put in the game was enormous and we have to move forward together.’

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