Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, has said this week’s Europa League second-leg clash against Benfica is a “final”.
Arteta was speaking to the media, after the Gunners suffered their 11th Premier League defeat of the season to Manchester City on Sunday.
Raheem Sterling scored the only goal in a 1-0 win for the league leaders at Emirates Stadium, extending their winning run in all competitions to 18 matches.
It is a result which leaves Arteta’s men facing an uphill task in qualifying for next season’s Champions League, as they are 11 points off the top four.
The winners of the Europa League will secure automatic entry to the Champions League and Arteta has underlined the importance of that option with the tie finely poised at 1-1 after the first leg.
“We have a final on Thursday because we want to continue in the competition [Europa League],” he said.
“We have to sleep, eat and we won’t have time to train then we fly to Greece.”
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