Mikel Arteta urges Arsenal to use Bayern Munich ‘pain’ to fuel title bid

1 month ago 17

MUNICH – Mikel Arteta has urged his Arsenal side to use the “pain” of their Champions League quarter-final exit against Bayern Munich on April 17 to fuel their English Premier League title bid.

The Gunners failed to clinch a first semi-final appearance since 2009, as Joshua Kimmich’s second-half header gave Bayern a 1-0 second-leg win and a 3-2 aggregate success.

“We were very close, that is the reality. It’s painful, but we have to learn from this. We had our moments, especially in the first half,” Arteta said.

“The players gave their best, we didn’t have that magical moment that we need in the competition.

“In the first leg, we conceded two avoidable goals, which had a significant impact on the draw. We were still alive when we arrived here, but the margins are so fine. A mistake or a moment makes the difference.”

It was a bitter evening in Munich for Arteta and his players, who had dreamt of leading Arsenal to their maiden Champions League crown.

After a blistering run carried them to the top of the Premier League and into the Champions League last eight, they have endured a nightmare week.

Arsenal were below their best in the 2-2 first-leg draw with Bayern, then surrendered pole position in the Premier League after a 2-0 home defeat against Aston Villa on April 14.

After producing another underwhelming display in Germany, Arteta has to find a way to lift his team’s shattered morale in time for a last push for the English title. They lie two points behind leaders Manchester City with six games to go.

In the Champions League, the Gunners largely acquitted themselves well following a lengthy absence from European football’s elite club competition.

They won their group ahead of PSV Eindhoven, Lens and Sevilla before beating Porto on the penalties in the last 16.

But Arteta conceded a lack of experience in the latter stages of the competition proved a key factor against Bayern.

“We haven’t been in this position for 14 years, we haven’t played in the Champions League for seven years. There’s a reason for that. Today’s match will make us better,” he said.

Arsenal have little time to lick their wounds, with the title race approaching a gripping conclusion. Third-placed Liverpool trail the Gunners only on goal difference, with all three clubs having six games left.

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