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Mikel Arteta issues demand to Arsenal players ahead of Bayern clash

Mikel Arteta has communicated his demands to Arsenal players following the defeat to Aston Villa as they prepare for the Bayern Munich clash

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Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta
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Mikel Arteta has urged Arsenal players to demonstrate resilience following the 2-0 loss to Aston Villa at home. 

Late goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins dashed Arsenal’s hopes, marking their first Premier League defeat since New Year’s Eve. With Manchester City now holding a two-point lead at the top of the table, Arsenal’s title ambitions face a considerable challenge.

The defeat also places Manchester City in a favourable position to secure their sixth title in seven seasons. With only six matches before the end of the season, the champions have an easier fixture schedule compared to Arsenal and Liverpool.

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta explains worrying Martin Odegaard substitution against Aston Villa

Arteta will want to see his players put the defeat in a box and focus on the task ahead. With the Gunners travelling to Germany for the Champions League quarter-final second leg decider against Bayern Munich, the manager cannot allow heads to drop and has stressed the importance of his players showcasing character to salvage their season.

“Now the moment is to stand up and be counted,” Arteta asserted. “If you want to win championships, if you want to be there in the Champions League, when you have these moments you have to stand up.”

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Reflecting on the match against Aston Villa, Arteta acknowledged Arsenal’s missed opportunities in the first half and lamented the loss of momentum in the second half, leading to conceding two goals. Despite the setback, Arteta encouraged his team to acknowledge the opponent’s performance and rise to the challenge.

Looking ahead to the Champions League clash with Bayern Munich, Arteta highlighted the significance of the opportunity to advance to the semi-finals, expressing optimism despite the team’s recent disappointment.

“After losing any game they are frustrated and sad,” he said. “But we have a beautiful opportunity that hasn’t happened for 14 years in this club to go to the semi finals of the Champions League. It couldn’t come in a better moment.”

While Manchester City edges closer to clinching the title, Arteta remains hopeful of unforeseen twists and turns in the remaining fixtures. Recognising the demanding schedule and the possibility of dropped points, Arteta emphasised the importance of focusing on what the team can control and maintaining belief in their abilities.

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