Mikel Arteta insists his Arsenal team ‘have come a long way’ since ‘cruel’ defeat against Olympiacos last season… but he admits it was a ‘tough pill to swallow’ ahead of rematch in Europa League last-16
- Arsenal face Olympiacos once again in the Europa League knockout stages
- The Greek side knocked the Gunners out last season in dramatic late fashion
- An 119th-minute winner sent them through, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed an even later sitter for Arsenal in an incredible finish at the Emirates
- Mikel Arteta said his side are a ‘better team’ now as the two clubs do battle again
Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are determined to put things right when they face Olympiacos in the Europa League, a year after being knocked out of the competition by the Greek side.
Olympiacos stunned Arsenal in last season’s last-32, with a 119th-minute extra-time winner earning them victory on away goals.
Incredibly, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had an even later chance to send Arsenal through with virtually the last kick of the game after Olympiacos had edged ahead.
Mikel Arteta says Arsenal want to put things right after their defeat to Olympiacos last year
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a chance to win the tie with the last kick of the game
But the Gunners captain volleyed wide from close range and Arsenal were dumped out in heart-breaking fashion.
Ahead of the first leg of Arsenal’s reunion with Olympiacos, Arteta said: ‘It was a really tough one to swallow.
‘The way it happened in the end was really cruel after everything we did in the two games to lose the way we did, in terms of the last chance that Auba had but we moved on.
‘Obviously we have some feelings towards that team and we want to put it right in the next round obviously.
Arsenal came through their last-32 tie against Benfica and face a familiar opponent next up
‘I think we are a better team than last year. Looking back at the two games we played and the way we are playing now I think we have come a long way.
‘They have some different players as well but a similar structure to last year. They have been doing really well. They played in the Champions League.
‘They got knocked out of the Champions League, played against Manchester City, two really good games as well so they will be a really tough opponent.’