Press conference

'This is why we're here, you want this pressure!'

With our Europa League last-32 tie on a knife-edge going into the second leg, Mikel Arteta has urged his side to embrace the pressure of facing Benfica.

Having scored a vital away goal in the first clash in Rome, our manager has called on his players to deliver again in Athens.

"The away goal is always important but in this context I don't think it's that relevant," he said. "We take the game like there is everything still to play for.

"It's the second half of the game and we need to go there to try to go to win the game. Another thing, without the fans, without being in our stadium, I think makes the game very tricky.

"It's a big season and a really important [game] mentally and confidence-wise. It's going to dictate if we're in another competition or not for a few more weeks. This is really what we need.

"It's a really tough opponent. It's a Champions League team who have been playing in these types of games for many years with a manager with huge experience. For us, it's a final.

"This is why we are here! When you play in these competitions and these games, finals too, it's the pressure that you want. It's much better to have the pressure to win than the pressure not to lose.

"I really enjoy the pressure of winning and to be here and to represent this club you have to be prepared to do that. If not, you don't belong here."

 

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