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Arsenal boss Arteta: 'We have a chance to win'

FT: Villarreal 2-1 Arsenal.

Arteta insists that there is still hope for Arsenal. [Getty]
Arteta insists that there is still hope for Arsenal. [Getty]

Arsenal will return to the Emirates with a vital away goal despite losing to Villarreal in the first-leg of their Europa League semi-final.

Mikel Arteta said his Arsenal side have a chance to secure a spot in the Europa League final, despite losing 2-1 to Villarreal in the semi-final first leg.

The Gunners must have thought they were edging out of the competition at halftime as the LaLiga club were leading 2-0.

And, things went from bad to worse as Dani Ceballos was shown a red card in the 57th minute.

But, Nicolas Pepe's second-half penalty gave the visitors hope, leaving the tie to be concluded in north London next week.

Villarreal also finished the match with ten men after former Spurs star Etienne Capoue was given his marching orders.

Speaking to BT Sport after the loss at the Estadio de la Ceramica, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta asserted: "We didn't want to come here and lose but after the way the game developed, you have to take the result. If you have to lose it is probably the best result we could have.

"Two different halves. We started to be us, in the first half there were so many moments we weren't.

"We started to chase and were not precise with the ball, didn't have enough control. We didn't have enough threat or desire to attack the box, in the second half it was completely different.

"We are very used to that (Bukayo Saka playing well) this season, but it tells us we need to do much more as we cannot always rely on him. Bernd Leno was very good, at 2-0, the chance with Gerard Moreno, he saved us.

"We had a big chance with Auba to draw the game. I am confident we have a chance to win."

Bukayo Saka added: "There are a lot of positives in the second half, it's a semi-final and to start the game like that... we didn't create anything, were passive, lost every duel. I'm happy in the second half we picked ourselves and have given us a chance at the Emirates.

"We showed we are better than them, even with 10 men, so it is up to us. When we play properly we can beat anyone."

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