Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits that Arsenal will be in for a tough challenge against Slavia Prague and is still at a loss to explain their performance against Liverpool.
Arsenal go into their Europa League quarter-final first leg on the back of a disappointing defeat. They were outplayed by Liverpool in the Premier League at the weekend, succumbing to a 3-0 loss. It means the Europa League is now a priority.
With a top-four finish seemingly impossible, winning the Europa League could be Arsenal’s only avenue back into the Champions League.
First, they will have to overcome Slavia Prague, who have already knocked out Leicester City and Rangers in this season’s competition.
Ahead of the first leg at home on Thursday, Aubameyang urged his teammates to react to the disappointment of Saturday.
“We did not perform anywhere near how we can on Saturday against Liverpool,” he said in the matchday programme. “We didn’t deserve to get anything and really it’s difficult to explain because we were confident going into it, that we could really get a result against them.
“But we didn’t create enough, didn’t attack like we have been lately and we couldn’t cause them problems. So when that happens, a team with the quality of Liverpool will find a way to make you pay, and that’s what they did in the second half.
“But as I said we have to learn from that and turn things around fast because tonight’s game in the Europa League is a big objective for us.”
Aubameyang aware of Slavia challenge
The Arsenal captain also warned of the threat posed by visitors Slavia.
“There’s no doubt how strong Slavia Prague are,” he continued. “They are really building a reputation in the last few years of a team that can go and beat anyone, and if they are in the last eight of the competition then they must be a dangerous side.
“I know Slavia have been very strong this season, in Europe and in their league too, so for sure we are going to be facing a team that is very high on confidence. It’s up to us to make them feel like a losing team for once!
“They have a very strong squad, I know there are some really good African players in the team as well that I know about, so we have no excuses – we will be ready for them and we will give everything to get through to the next round.”
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