After his team exited the Europa League on Thursday, Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, was dissatisfied with his players for not protecting the ball enough.
Granit Xhaka gave the Gunners the lead, and at first glance, it appeared they were headed for the quarterfinals. With a breathtaking shot from the halfway line, Pedro Goncalves leveled things up.
From that point until the conclusion of the epic match, the scores were tied, but Sporting eventually advanced after Gabriel Martinelli's penalty was saved in the shootout.
The Spanish tactician was hugely critical of his side for their display for the vast majority of the round of 16 tie as he attempted to come to terms with the defeat.
The Spaniard stated in a statement to BT Sport: "Clearly, it's a major setback. There were times when we weren't performing at our best, particularly in the first 75 minutes. Every single ball was lost.
"We lacked the ability to completely control the game and guide it in the direction we desired. It's true that we had opportunities to win in both the final 15 seconds and extra time. There is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to the penalties, and we lost."
Arteta was even more critical of his team's performance as he acknowledged that they did not match up well enough against the visitors.
"Compared to the first leg, I believe this game was significantly different.
In particular, when we had duels in specific locations, we didn't win enough of them. We didn't put the ball under pressure well enough to target those boxes and second line runs, which they are incredibly proficient at doing.
"Every time we recovered the ball in those areas, we lose it. We did not have the ball consistently & that created a really open transitional game that we did not want to play."
Content created and supplied by: Charlesayor (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More