By Chris Harris

Mikel Arteta has called on Arsenal to quell the threat of counter-attacks when they play away from home.

The Spanish midfielder left the San Siro under a cloud on Wednesday night after his team were beaten 4-0 in the first leg of their Champions League tie against AC Milan.

Arsenal had the lion's share of possession but the Serie A giants picked them off with two goals in either half. With a vital FA Cup tie at Sunderland on the horizon, Arteta knows that Arsenal must find a way to overcome teams that sit deep and hit them on the break.

"We’ve been counter-attacked too many times playing away from home and we cannot allow that to happen," he said.

"That was the key. Milan scored three goals on the counter-attack and we are very disappointed. It is difficult to take in and we have to change our mindset because we have another tough game on Saturday."

The re-laid San Siro pitch did not help Arsenal's cause on Wednesday night but Arteta is not giving up hope ahead of the second leg on March 6.

"There is nothing we can do about the pitch," he said. "It was absolutely awful - you tried to kick the ball and had no control at all. Milan are more used to it because this pitch is like that through the year. But it wasn’t only about the pitch, it was about ourselves.

"I will never say never in football because you never know. If we score two goals in the first half at the Emirates then it is game on. But after Wednesday night, it will be very difficult to get through and we all know that."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 16 Feb 2012