Thursday, May 23, 2024

We’ll get back up – Martin Odegaard urges Arsenal to respond to European exit

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Apr 2024

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Captain Martin Odegaard has backed Arsenal to roll with the punches as they aim to keep their season on track against Wolves on Saturday.

The Gunners were knocked out of the Champions League following a 1-0 defeat by Bayern Munich on Wednesday night, with the German side progressing to the semi-finals 3-2 on aggregate courtesy of Joshua Kimmich’s bullet header.

The disappointment at the Allianz Arena followed on from Sunday’s 2-0 home loss to Aston Villa that dented Arsenal’s Premier League title charge.

Mikel Arteta’s side are now two points behind leaders Manchester City and face a tricky trip to Molineux this weekend, knowing victory would take them top with City playing in the FA Cup.

The PA news agency understands there are some concerns within the club over tiredness and fatigue taking their toll on the players at such a crucial stage of the season, especially in the second half of the Villa game.

Following the two damaging defeats, Odegaard conceded the Champions League exit will hurt – but feels Arsenal have plenty still to play for.

“I mean it takes a little bit to get going again, but I think what you play for in the league is enough motivation for all of us,” he said.

“So we just have to stick together, get back up, and keep pushing. We can still do something very special.

“I think that is enough motivation to just keep going, keep working hard and pushing each other. We have to keep going.

“Every game now is so important, it has been for a while. It has been so tight and so competitive.”

Kimmich headed home in the second half after Arsenal had enjoyed the best of a tense first 45 minutes, in which Gabriel Martinelli wasted the best chance for the visitors.

Bayern now go on to face Real Madrid in the last four after the LaLiga giants beat City on penalties, meaning there is no English club in the semi-finals for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign.

“I think it was, again, a very tight game, as the home game was,” added Odegaard.

“But I think you see it in front of the goals, that’s where we lost the tie. It was a bit similar to the home game.

“We gave away a very easy goal today and we are not sharp enough in front of the opponent’s goal. That’s where the games are decided and that’s where we lost the game.

“We wanted to do more, so at the moment we are just disappointed. It has been a long time since we have been here (in the Champions League), but at the moment it is disappointing.

“We wanted to go further. We wanted to go all the way. First of all, we are disappointed, but I think we have done something good as well.

“Every time you get hit you have to stand up and go again. The key thing is to stand together and lift each other up. Then, as I said, we have something really nice to play for, so that’s where we have to put the mindset now.

“Of course we want to win something and that’s been the big goal. But I think we can’t look too far ahead, we have to take it day by day, and game by game.

“First of all, now we have to lift each other up and we have to get ready for the next game. Then we move on from there.”

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