Arteta Admits Arsenal's Champions League Triumph Could Take 'Years' After Reality Check Against Bayern Munich

(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, visibly distressed, cautioned that the Gunners might have to wait years before lifting their first Champions League trophy after a devastating exit from the quarter-finals against Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.

In a highly anticipated second leg following a 2-2 draw in London last week, both teams entered with everything to play for. However, Joshua Kimmich's commanding header in the 63rd minute, off Raphael Guerreiro's precise cross, propelled the six-time European champions into the semi-finals with a 3-2 aggregate victory.

With their Champions League campaign abruptly ended, Arsenal's hopes for silverware now rest solely on the Premier League, leaving their season precariously balanced on the brink.

"The players are gutted in the dressing room. I cannot find the right words to lift them, I wish I could. We have to go through it.
We tried against a team that had a lot of experience, the margins across the tie have been very small. We made a mistake defending the box and we conceded a goal," Arteta said in his post-match press conference.

He further added, "The club hasn't been in the Champions League for seven years, and in the first year back [people expect us to] play in the semi-final and final.
We all wanted that, so badly, but you can see with many other clubs it takes six or seven years to get to this stage. We were very close, that's the reality."

Arsenal suffered a disheartening 2-0 defeat against Aston Villa in the league last Sunday, marking the first instance since May 2023 where the North London club has endured consecutive losses without finding the net in either match.

Despite this setback, Mikel Arteta has issued a rallying cry to the supporters, urging them to stand by the team during this challenging period. Arsenal faces Wolves this Saturday, aiming to bounce back from their recent disappointments and regain momentum in the league.

"It's not going to go away (the pain) certainly tonight, but I can guarantee you by tomorrow we're fully focused on Wolves and everybody is lifted," the Arsenal boss said.

"What we still have to play for is beautiful. I said before it's time to be next to these players. It's easy to be behind them and praise the players and talk nice things when we win 10 in a row and one draw. The moment is now to be behind them and be next to them," he added.

Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel offered effusive praise for Arsenal, expressing his belief that they possess the quality necessary to claim silverware. Tuchel's commendation reflects the respect he holds for Arsenal's abilities, hinting at the potential for success in the near future.

"They (Arsenal) are there. For me, they are an elite team. It was a very, very close result. Maybe what they miss a little bit is a bit more experience in these knockout stages.
I would not judge them now on this week where some of the results are a bit complicated, but in my opinion they are an elite team," Tuchel said.


AsiaNet News

Legal Disclaimer:
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.