Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has warned his side that Tottenham’s Europa League defeat at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb serves as a wake-up call, insisting his own team cannot let their guard down if they are serious about winning the competition.
The Gunners progressed to the quarter-finals with a 3-2 aggregate win against Olympiacos despite losing 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday, while Spurs were dumped out after losing 3-0 after extra-time in Croatia.
Arteta warned his players that Spurs’ exit shows the quality of opposition remaining in the tournament.
“It shows as well the level of the opposition,” he said, as quoted by the Evening Standard.
“People take for granted that you play against any opponent and you’re going to be through because of the name of the club they represent. It’s not like that. Every team in Europe is really difficult to beat.”
Tottenham were well-beaten by Dinamo in their second leg, but Arteta believes his side were not much better in their own return fixture.
Arteta was asked if Arsenal can’t afford to put in such a performance like their own on Thursday night again, and replied: “Yes.
“Because what we have to do, the way we are setup, the organisation we have and the way we want to play, we have to be much more efficient, much more simple, much more cohesive as a team.
“Without that structure you are exposed when you lose the ball in really dangerous areas without any opposition.
“When you do that, and we did that as well where we created chance after chance, but again, as you mentioned we want to be in the competition, and when you have four, five, six big chances in Europe you have to put them away and then the tie is over.”
Arsenal will discover their opponents in the last eight of the Europa League on Friday.