Mikel Arteta reveals what Arsenal must do better amid attacking injury crisis
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has urged his side to stop giving away so many sloppy goals following Thursday’s 2-2 draw against Sporting CP.
The north London outfit travelled to Lisbon for he first leg of their Europa League round of 16 clash and they took the lead in the 22nd minute through defender William Saliba. The French international headed home a perfectly-weighted Fabio Vieira corner before the Portuguese side struck level shortly after following a corner of their own.
Paulinho gave Sporting the lead shortly after half-time but the Gunners quickly struck back thanks to a freak own goal from Japanese international Hidemasa Morita. After the full-time whistle, Arteta voiced his frustrations at his defenders, urging his team to improve their defensive organisation.
“When you concede two poor goals like we did tonight away from home in Europe it’s very difficult to get a positive result”, the Spaniard said. “We gave too many simple balls away and gave them hope and capacity to have those transition moments.”
“We lost a bit of threat today with the four players we’re missing in our front line. We need to defend our box much better.”
The four missing attacking players that Arteta referred to were Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, Leandro Trossard and Martin Odegaard, with the first three out with various injuries whilst Odegaard is unwell. Arsenal will host Ruben Amorim’s side to the Emirates Stadium next Thursday but first they will travel to Craven Cottage to take on Marco Silva’s Fulham in the Premier League.
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