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​Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta on Benfica win – “We did not deserve to go out”

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta does not believe his team merited an exit in the Europa League.

The Gunners were in a precarious position when they went 2-1 down on the night to Benfica, as a 2-2 draw would have put the Portuguese team through on away goals.

But they scored twice through Kieran Tierney and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and moved into the last 16.

Asked what he was thinking late in the game, he told reporters: “No, I don’t think we would have deserved it (to go out).

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“The reality is that we gave them two goals in the two legs, and when you do that against any opponent, and an opponent with the quality of Benfica, you’re going to be in trouble. That’s why we were in trouble.

“We gave away a penalty in a situation that we knew was going to happen, and then today we gave away a goal after our own corner.

“After that, the reaction of the team, the belief and what I was sensing on the pitch and how much they wanted it, gave me hope.

“We changed it and tried to be more of a threat, more attacking, and I’m especially happy about Dani because he’s a player that lives this profession like the most important thing in his life, and when he made that mistake, if that would have cost the team to be out of the competition, it would have been mentally really tough.

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“That’s when you need players in the team like the ones we have with Auba and Bukayo creating and KT scoring the goal to save him.

“Out of a difficult situation created a really nice moment.”

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