Arteta says Arsenal want to put things right against Olympiakos

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Burnley v Arsenal

LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says his side are determined to put things right in their Europa League last-16 tie against Olympiakos after a painful exit last year against the Greeks.

Youssef El Arabi's extra time effort in north London last February saw Olympiakos go through on away goals with the tie ending 2-2 but this year's draw has given Arsenal a chance for revenge.

"It was a really tough one to swallow, the way it happened at the end was really cruel after everything we did in the two games to lose it the way we did it," Arteta said on the eve of Thursday's first leg in Athens.

"Emotionally it really drained us because it was a rollercoaster during the game and with what happened, it could have ended in a beautiful way, but it ended in a really harsh way for us. I think emotionally it took some time to get the team and some individuals lifted because it really hurt."

"Obviously, we have some feeling towards that team and we want to put it right."

Arteta says Arsenal face a "massive week" with a north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday before the second leg against Olympiakos next week.

"We have to manage the squad. But obviously the main game is tomorrow and we have to focus on that because tomorrow's game is going to help us for the weekend, it's going to help us for next week. So we have to focus on tomorrow," Arteta said.

With Arsenal languishing in 10th spot in the Premier League their best route into the Champions League could be by winning the Europa League but Arteta does not necessarily agree.

"There is a lot to do in both competitions. We have to go very far to achieve anything directly in the Europa League with the amount of games that you have to win. It's the same in the Premier League," he said.

Olympiakos fell into the Europa League from the Champions League and are vastly-experienced in Europe.

"They are coming from playing in the Champions League," he said. "It's a team that is used to playing in all those competitions and they beat us last year.

"It doesn't matter the manner but they did it last year so we have to be better than last year to beat them now."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)