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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Arteta issues rallying cry

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has insisted his side still have a chance of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals despite their heavy defeat at the hands of AC Milan.

The Gunners failed to show up in the last-16 encounter at the San Siro, and in a game with very few chances for the north London outfit, they went down 4-0 to the Serie A title holders.

Arsenal would have to perform a feat that has not been accomplished in the Champions League by overturning a four goal deficit over two legs, when they play the return fixture at the Emirates. People who bet on Champions League games will know the side have a huge task.

The former Rangers playmaker has admitted the newly laid surface at the San Siro did not help matters in the defeat on Wednesday night but has insisted the players have to take responsibility for the poor performance in Italy. People looking to bet on Champions League winner should remember this.

Arteta told the Evening Standard: "There is nothing we can do about the pitch. It was absolutely awful - you had no control at all. They are more used to it because they play here every week but I don't think we need excuses.

"They were the better team and deserved to win. We go to London with a really disappointing result.

"If we score two goals in the first half at the Emirates then it is game on.”

Arsenal will have the chance to make up the deficit when the two sides meet again on March 6 but the Gunners will have to turn their attentions back to their Premier League campaign in the meantime, with crucial games against Tottenham and Liverpool.

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