‘Small margins’: Arteta says Arsenal have plenty to learn after Bayern defeat

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Mikel Arteta said Arsenal’s players were “gutted” after losing to Bayern Munich and missing out on a first Champions League semi-final since 2009. Joshua Kimmich’s second-half goal was enough to secure a 3-2 aggregate win.

Arsenal were visibly disconsolate at the end and Arteta admitted they fell just short in a tightly-contested tie. “At the moment it is a gutted dressing room,” he said. “We are very disappointed. We have to go through it. We tried against a team with a lot of experience. Through the tie the margins have been very small.”

The defeat caps a troubled week for Arsenal, who slipped two points behind Manchester City in the Premier League title race after losing to Aston Villa on Sunday. Bayern’s experience at the highest level ultimately proved decisive but Arteta defended his side, pointing out that a last-eight finish constitutes significant progress and that it may take several more years to reach their opponents’ level.

“We haven’t played this competition for seven years and we haven’t been in this stage for 14 years,” he said. “There’s a reason for it. We want to do everything fast-forward super quick in one season. I think we have the capacity and the quality to be in the semi-final because the margins are very small.

“Those margins are coming from something else that maybe we don’t have yet. We have to learn it. When you look historically it took other clubs seven, eight or 10 years to do it. Today that’s not going to make us feel better, that’s for sure.”

While Arsenal’s prospects of winning a trophy this season have receded, Arteta pointed out that domestic honours remain up for grabs. They face Wolves at Molineux on Saturday and he expects a response. “[The pain] is not going to go away, certainly tonight, but I can guarantee you by tomorrow we’re fully focused on Wolves and everybody is lifted. What we still have to play for is beautiful.”

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Thomas Tuchel, who will leave Bayern at the end of the season but could add to the Champions League title he won in 2021 with Chelsea, said the win meant “a lot” and hailed a “fantastic performance” in which his team “pushed it over the line”.

Source: theguardian.com

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