Mikel Arteta stressed that he is feeling the pressure at Arsenal after his side crashed out of the Europa League with a whimper against Villarreal on Thursday evening. The Gunners went into the match needing a goal to stand any chance of facing Manchester United in this year’s final, but failed to break down the defensive wall of the visitors despite mounting a late push at the Emirates Stadium.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck the woodwork on two separate occasions either side of the interval, but the hosts were unable to prevent the goalless draw that saw Unai Emery’s side earn their shot at European glory later this month in Gdansk.
The result leaves Arsenal facing their first campaign without Champions League or Europa League football in 25 years next season, unless they can use their remaining Premier League games to pull off a miracle and seal an unlikely top-five finish.
The Gunners were unmistakably second-best for the vast majority of Thursday’s match, with Villarreal experiencing little difficulty in holding their own until the half-time whistle.
A second-half onslaught gave Arsenal hope of finding that crucial winner, but the elusive goal never came, leaving Arteta trophyless in his first full season at the helm after being humbled by his precedessor on a dark night for the north London club.
MORE TO FOLLOW
We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates, pictures and video on this breaking news story.
For the latest news and breaking news visit: express.co.uk/sport/football
Stay up to date with all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you.
Follow us on Twitter @DExpress_Sport – the official Daily Express & Express.co.uk Twitter account – providing real news in real time.
We’re also on Facebook @DailyExpressSport – offering your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout the day to like, comment and share from the Daily Express, Sunday Express and Express.co.uk.