Press conference

‘We’re a better team now than last year's tie’

There were wry smiles when the draw for this season’s Europa League last-16 was made and we were paired with Olympiacos once again.

Not only did it set up our 12th meeting with the Greek side in the past 12 years, but it also brought back painful memories of last season’s competition, when a 119th-minute goal from Youssef El Arabi at Emirates Stadium sent us crashing out.

"Obviously it was a really tough one to swallow," Mikel Arteta told the media on Wednesday. "The way it happened at the end, it was really cruel.

"After everything we did in the two games, to lose the way we did and with the late chance Auba had... but we moved on. We have some feelings towards that team and we want to put it right in the next round.

"I think we are a better team than we were last year. Looking back at the two games that we played and the way we are playing now, I think we have come a long way.

"They have some different players as well but a very similar structure to last year. They've been doing really well, they played in the Champions League, knocked out of the Champions League, they played against City in two really good games as well. It will be a really tough opponent.

"Now we have another opportunity. It's the beauty of this game. It's a completely different context but the reality is the same that we have to beat them twice to go through in the competition and we have to be better than them."

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