Jonas Eidevall ‘empty’ after Arsenal exit Women’s Champions League but hails ‘incredible players’

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall was “hurt” and “empty”, but proud of his players after they crashed out of the Women’s Champions League.

The Gunners were beaten 3-2 by Wolfsburg in the second leg of their semi-final at a sold-out Emirates Stadium, losing 5-4 on aggregate to a goal by Pauline Bremer in the penultimate minute of injury-time.

It was heartbreak for Arsenal who, despite being hit by a major injury crisis, pushed the German side all the way and took an early lead on the night through Stina Blackstenius.

Wolfsburg responded through Jill Roord and Alexandra Popp, before Jen Beattie struck to send the game to extra-time. Arsenal eventually fell there in the 119th minute and Eidevall admitted that was hard to take, even if he was proud of how his players battled.

“It was tough, no doubt about it, because it was a game of such fine margins and they were not on our side today,” he said.

“We are allowed to hurt and feel empty but we are also allowed to feel proud of the performance and the occasion with supporters that are magnificent. There are a lot of emotions.

“We can make up a narrative after you know the result. I prefer not to do that. I think it was small margins. It was a tight offside on our 2-1 goal, it was a close free-kick on the corner when we scored. It was a very close situation on Lina’s [Hurtig’s] chance during extra-time.

“Of course we hit the crossbar in extra time too. It’s margins. That is sport. Sometimes they are with you and feel that is justified and sometimes they go against you and it’s terrible.

“But I also choose to look at it that way, as a group, we came to a Champions League semi-final and it came down to the tiniest of margins.

“With all the injuries and all the challenges we have, we knew that and that is incredible. I am so proud of the players and the staff.”