Mikel Arteta: Arsenal need ‘support and love’ after Champions League exit

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Kai Havertz looking dejected
Arsenal last reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2008-09

Mikel Arteta says he must show his Arsenal side “support and love” after Bayern Munich knocked them out of the Champions League.

It was a second successive defeat for Arsenal, who lost control of the Premier League title race last Sunday as Aston Villa beat them 2-0.

“I wish I had the right words to say to the players to make them feel better. What I am going to do – and all the coaching staff too – is to be close to the players.” Arteta said.

“I feel so grateful to be the coach and to work with them every single day.”

Arsenal were chasing a first Champions League semi-final spot since 2009, with Arteta accepting his team were inexperienced at this stage of the competition. This was their first quarter-final appearance since 2010.

“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.”

The Gunners, who need City to drop points if they are to win the league for the first time since 2003-04, return to Premier League action at Wolves on Saturday.

“What I need to do is stand right next to them and give them support and our love and we have to pick it up because on Saturday we have a big, big game,” said Arteta.

“We are still playing for the Premier League. The Premier League is there and we really want it. We have to show now that we are capable of turning this around.”

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