‘The away goal gives us belief we can beat them’

We may have lost the first leg of our Europa League semi-final against Villarreal, but Nicolas Pepe’s penalty could prove to be a pivotal moment in the tie.

The Ivorian kept his cool from the spot to give us a precious away goal and Mikel Arteta hopes that it will give is the boost we need ahead of next week’s game at Emirates Stadium.

“It gives us belief that if we do the right things and we play at our level, we can beat them,” Arteta told Arsenal Media.

“[I’m] disappointed that we lost the game obviously. We had some issues. The fact that we conceded really early in the game affected us. We lost our organisation, we were really stretched and there were big differences between the lines that we could not join together with the ball. 

“We didn't have enough threat to attack the goal as well. We conceded the second from a set-piece, and we know how vital they are in those ties. We were 2-0 down at half-time so we had to be us. 

“We came back in the game, we started to be much more like what we can do, we were much more precise with the ball and were attacking in the right areas. Even with 10 men, I think we were the better team. We had the bigger chance at the end with Auba to make it 2-2 but we are in the tie.”

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