Match ReportsUEFA Europa League

Mikel Arteta fires warning at Arsenal after disappointing draw in Lisbon

The Arsenal manager remains unhappy with Arsenal defending in recent weeks

Mikel Arteta has cautioned his team that they must “dramatically improve” their set-piece defense if they are to achieve their goals for this campaign.


After last night’s 2-2 draw in Portugal against Sporting Lisbon, the Gunners presently have a five point lead over Manchester City in the Premier League title race and are in good position to advance to the quarterfinals of the Europa League.

Arteta’s team has recovered from the slump they experienced in the previous month, when they lost three straight games, but they have started to concede goals from dead ball scenarios at an alarming rate.


Last night, Goncalo Inacio took advantage of some misunderstanding between goalie Matt Turner and rookie Jakub Kiwior to make Sporting the fourth team to profit from generous defending.

On Sunday, Arsenal will visit Fulham, and Marco Silva’s team, which boasts the set-piece prowess of Willian and Andreas Pereira, surely will concentrate on what seems to be an Achilles’ heel.

When asked why his team had begun giving up goals from corners and free kicks, Arteta responded, “Sometimes the opponents are really good at what they do.


The difference between getting that shot out of the box or having it go in can sometimes be as little as half a centimeter when the delivery is done correctly and in the proper location.

It’s accurate that if we want to keep winning games, we need to drastically improve in the upcoming games.


In the end, Arsenal managed to rescue a draw thanks to a fortunate own goal, and as long as they can improve their defense, they should be able to advance to the round of eight.

We are giving up too many easy goals, and we’ve talked about the value of boxes, particularly in a tournament where you are either in or out, Arteta continued.

“Today, we didn’t protect that well enough, and we need to improve when facing opposition. Recently, we’ve played a number of really emotional games, and today, we made a lot of changes, so cohesion will take some time.


“If we don’t expose them, that’s never going to happen,” we said, “because you could feel that in the first 10-15 minutes that we needed some time to adapt and to click.”

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