Mikel Arteta was not too excited about the 3-1 victory Arsenal recorded against Olympiakos in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16. The Spanish tactician believes that Arsenal gifted the Greek team three goalscoring opportunities and the Greek team took advantage of one of them.
Arsenal left England to play the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 as favorites to win due to their form in the European competition so far this season. And the Premier League club did not disappoint as they ended the game with a 3-1 advantage ahead of the second leg of the round which will come up on March 18.
On Thursday’s game, Arsenal took the lead in the 34th minute through the boots of Martin Odegaard before Olympiakos’ Youssef El Arabi scored the equalizer in the 58th minute.
It took Arsenal about 21 minutes to reclaim the lead, thanks to Gabriel’s strike in the 79th minute. The Premier League club sealed the three points in the 85th minute courtesy of Mohamed Elneny’s strike.
Congratulations, @biel_m04! 👏— Arsenal (@Arsenal) March 12, 2021
🏆 You voted Gabriel as your man of the match in last night's #UEL first leg pic.twitter.com/wMwv8fVhjM
After the away game, coach Mikel Arteta stressed that Arsenal had the opportunity to seal the game earlier enough and urged his players to be more ruthless.
“We have to be very clear and honest with ourselves. We gave three chances to the opponent, they took one and at that level, they are going to punish you,” Arteta said.
“If we want to go to the next level we have to stop that and be more ruthless and when we are that dominant, kill the games off.
“The goals and chances we have conceded are coming from ourselves.
“That’s positive because when we stop it, we will be stronger. The reality is that we have to stop it immediately. It’s my responsibility. I make them play the way we want to play it is just understanding the risk and reward.”
Mikel Arteta and his boys have turned their attention to the Premier League where a big North London derby awaits them. They have a date with their North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, on March 14, 2021.
The league match is as important to Arsenal as it is to Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal and Tottenham are battling for a continental ticket ahead of next season, and a win in a game like this can go a long way to push Arsenal higher on the table.
So far in this season’s Premier League campaign, Arsenal are sitting on the 10th spot on the league table with 38 points in 27 games. While Tottenham Hotspur are sitting on the 7th spot on the league table with 45 points in 27 games.