‘We are just all sad’ – Bernd Leno reveals Arsenal dressing room reaction to Villarreal defeat

Arsenal v Villareal CF - UEFA Europa League Semi Final: Leg Two
The Gunners crashed out at the semi-final stage (Picture: Getty Images)

Bernd Leno spoke of the ‘big disappointment’ and ‘sad’ feeling in the Arsenal dressing room following their Europa League exit at the hands of Villarreal.

After the semi-final first leg ended 2-1 in Spain, the Gunners knew they needed to score to book a place in the final, but produced just two shots on target as the game ended in a goalless draw at the Emirates on Thursday night.

With the Gunners down in ninth in the Premier League table with four games left to play, Mikel Arteta’s side have now dashed any hopes of getting back into the Champions League.

Emery got the better of his former club
Emery got the better of his former club (Picture: Getty Images)

Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post in both halves, but other than that, Arsenal failed to test the defence of Unai Emery’s side.

The former Gunners manager, who has won the Europa League three times in his career, ended up getting the better of his successor Arteta, and Leno revealed the squad were dejected in the dressing room after the game.

‘It’s very quiet,’ Leno told BT Sport. ‘I think big disappointment because our target was to reach the final and win the Europa League and now this is not possible anymore.

‘I think the only difference, or the problem, was that we did not take our chances. I think overall we were the better side. Only the first half in Villarreal we played not on our level, and that was enough to beat us.’

‘Yeah maybe. I think, like I said, in the first half of the first leg all of us we weren’t at our best. But the second half in Villarreal and also today we put everything inside but it was not enough, or not good enough.

‘I think semi-final experience is very important and in some situations, you could [see the lack of experience from young players] but this is no excuse.

‘I think in Villarreal and also today we had more than enough chances to go through. We needed just one goal. If it’s just from a set-piece or something else it doesn’t matter. I think it’s too easy to say it’s just experience.’

‘It’s very hard for all of us, also for the fans,’ the goalkeeper added. ‘I think we are just all sad.

‘Hopefully, we can make next season better than next season. But this season is not finished yet, we have four games and we have to show – especially for our fans – that we fight for this club, that we all love this club and this is all we can do now.’

MORE : ‘We made a mistake’ – Martin Keown criticises Arsenal duo Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard in Villarreal loss

MORE : Unai Emery reacts to dumping former side Arsenal out of Europa League and setting up Manchester United final

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