Arsenal’s exit from the 2022/2023 Europa League has brought “clarity” to their season and the squad must now focus on their English Premier League title charge, manager Mikel Arteta says.
Arsenal and Sporting Lisbon drew 1-1 in London and finished 3-3 on aggregate in the tie before the Portuguese club advanced to the quarter-finals with a 5-3 penalty kicks shootout.
Arsenal have been eliminated from all three Cup competitions they were involved in.
But they are five points clear in the league and in position to win a first English title since 2004.
They have 11 games left to play, starting with the visit of Crystal Palace on Sunday.
“It’s a huge blow, but it brings clarity to the season,” Arteta told Arsenal’s website.
“It’s 11 games to play for, 11 Premier League games, and a big final against Crystal Palace. The focus has to be there, the energy has to be there and learn from tonight.
“… we have to learn from it, but the best thing is now the reaction and show the same commitment, more quality and play better against Crystal Palace to beat them.”
Arteta was dealt a double injury blow on Thursday when Takehiro Tomiyasu had to be substituted early on and fellow defender William Saliba limped off shortly after.
“Tomiyasu looks pretty serious, from his reaction straight away and what he said to me,” Arteta told reporters.
“Obviously, it’s very early and difficult to know. William, I don’t know. He had some discomfort and could not carry on. So, we had to take him off.”