Mikel Arteta admits it could be YEARS until Arsenal win the Champions League after reality check against Bayern Munich – and says he ‘can’t find the words’ to lift his devastated players

An anguished Mikel Arteta warned it could take years for Arsenal to lift their first Champions League title after crashing out of the quarter-finals against Bayern Munich last night.

After last week’s 2-2 draw in the first leg in London, both teams had everything to play for. Yet Joshua Kimmich’s powerful header in the 63rd minute from Raphael Guerreiro’s cross sent the six-time European Cup winners through to the semi-finals 3-2 on aggregate.

The Gunners now only have the Premier League to compete for, with their season teetering on the brink of a no-win season.

Arteta said: ‘The players are devastated in the dressing room. I can’t find the right words to lift them, I wish I could. We have to get through it.

‘We tried against a team that had a lot of experience, the margins in the tie were very small. We made a mistake defending the penalty area and conceded a goal.

Mikel Arteta admitted it could take years before Arsenal win the Champions League

‘The club has not been in the Champions League for seven years, and the first year back [people expect us to] play in the semi-finals and finals.

‘We all wanted that so badly, but you see that at many other clubs it takes six to seven years to reach this stage. We were very close, that’s the reality.’

Arsenal lost 2-0 to Aston Villa in the league on Sunday and face Wolves on Saturday. It is the first time since May 2023 that the north London club has lost consecutive matches without scoring in either match.

Although Arteta has called on his supporters to stick by his men in times of need.

β€œThe pain will certainly not go away tonight, but I can guarantee that tomorrow we will fully concentrate on Wolves and everyone will be better for it,” he said.

‘It’s wonderful what we still have to play for. I said before it’s time to stand with these players. It’s easy to get behind them and praise the players and talk nice things when we win ten times in a row and draw once. The moment is now to stand behind them and be with them.”

Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel has been full of praise for Arsenal and believes they are at the level needed to win silverware.

Many thought Arsenal could reach the semi-finals despite a seven-year absence from the competition

Many thought Arsenal could reach the semi-finals despite a seven-year absence from the competition

Tuchel said: ‘They (Arsenal) are here. To me they are an elite team. It was a very, very close result. Maybe they lack a little more experience in this knockout phase.

β€œI wouldn’t judge them this week where some of the results are a bit complicated, but in my opinion they are an elite team.”

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