Martin Odegaard admits Arsenal weren’t good enough| SolSportHQ
Martin Odegaard bemoaned Arsenal’s energy levels against Sporting Lisbon as his side crashed out of the Europa League on penalties on Thursday night.
The Gunners captain, who was substituted on by Mikel Arteta in extra-time to rescue the last-16 tie, admitted Arsenal lacked energy and played well below the standard they have set throughout the season so far.
Granit Xhaka’s first-half opener initially handed the north London club a 3-2 advantage on aggregate but was later cancelled out by Pedro Goncalves, who caught out Aaron Ramsdale with a 46-yard stunner just after the hour mark.
Despite probing for a winner, Arsenal were taken to penalties by the Portuguese outfit and subsequently lost the shootout 5-3, after Gabriel Martinelli’s crucial spot-kick was saved by Antonio Adan.
Lamenting his side’s lacklustre performance, Odegaard urged that Arsenal must now look forward and recover from the elimination quickly, confident they still have what it takes to fend off Manchester City and hunt down a historic Premier League title.
‘I think we did enough in some periods of the game but most of the game we weren’t on the level we should be,’ Odegaard told BT Sport after the match.
‘We didn’t play our best football. It was a tight game in the end, it could have gone both ways.
‘They are a good team, we knew that, we were prepared. It was more about us today, we didn’t play the way we normally do with the same energy we normally do. Now we have to look forward.
‘We have to remember it’s been a great season, it’s a big blow to go out of this competition. But now we look forward to the league, that’s all we can do now.
‘We win and lose together. It doesn’t matter. When we’re winning everyone is happy, when we lose we have to pick up the spirit. We win and lose together.’