Mar 11, 2021 at 8pm UK
El-Arabi (58')
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Magalhaes (43')

Mikel Arteta: 'Clash with Olympiacos is crucial for Arsenal'

:Headline: Mikel Arteta: 'Clash with Olympiacos is crucial for Arsenal': ID:438204: from db_amp
The Gunners look unlikely to qualify for Europe through the Premier League.

Mikel Arteta admitted Thursday’s Europa League tie with Olympiacos is now a “massive game” for his side in the wake of Saturday’s frustrating draw at Burnley.

Granit Xhaka’s bizarre error late in the first half gifted Burnley an equaliser after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s early opener, leading to more dropped points as Arsenal remain stuck down in 10th place.

Arteta – who defended both Xhaka and the tactics of playing from the back – admitted after the match it is now “really complicated” for the Gunners to secure European football via the Premier League, putting the focus on their last 16 first leg in Piraeus this week.

“I want them to be bold, to want to play at the top end of the pitch and be aggressive within it,” he said.

“(The first half) was a soft performance but it wasn’t a bad one. In the second half we had a bit more purpose and created the best chance of the game. It was great play from Woody and Vyds and he’s not done a lot wrong, he’s hit it low and hard and it’s a good save.”

Dyche admitted that Pope would be disappointed with the way Aubameyang’s sixth-minute shot had beaten him at the near post despite getting a strong hand to it, but said he had no complaints with the England goalkeeper.

“Popey is top level and he will question himself so it doesn’t need me to question him,” he said. “He’s so honest. He’s top, top level. There’s no two ways about it when at this level, he’ll think he could have got a stronger hand on it.”

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