MIKEL ARTETA blasted sloppy Arsenal after their heart-breaking Europa League exit.

The Gunners conceded two soft goals as they were dumped out by Olympiacos on away goals after extra-time at the Emirates.

 Mikel Arteta saw his side crash out of the Europa League against Olympiacos

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Mikel Arteta saw his side crash out of the Europa League against OlympiacosCredit: EPA


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Arteta said: “This hurts, big time. We had a lot of hope in this competition because it was a great way for us to be able to go into Europe.

“We created enough chances to win and even at the end we had an incredible opportunity but if you concede two set-pieces like this then you put yourself in big trouble.

“Obviously Bernd Leno could have done better at the end when he kicked it out for a corner but there was still another situation to defend and we didn’t do that.

“We conceded because of the second phase of that action when their player just steps in and taps the ball in from the six-yard box.

 Youssef El-Arabi poached the winner for Olympiacos during extra-time to dump Arsenal out

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Youssef El-Arabi poached the winner for Olympiacos during extra-time to dump Arsenal outCredit: Reuters

“That’s unacceptable and something that we have to improve on.

“It would have given us a big lift if we had managed to go through tonight and given everyone a big lift.

“So it’s a big disappointment but I am still right behind the boys because the effort they put into this game was enormous and we have to move forward together.

“I’ve seen all the boys and I know how much they wanted to win this competition. This result is difficult to digest but football is very cruel sometimes and there are a lot of emotions tonight.

“But you have to able to handle that in this industry so now it’s up to us to bring this team back in and move forward.”

Yet while Arteta refused to put the boot into his players, former Gunners defender Martin Keown was not so forgiving.

He fumed: “The commitment wasn’t there from the start and the rebuilding of this club has to start now.

“It was an unprofessional performance and Arteta will be wondering where he goes from here because it’s going to be very difficult to make the Champions League now.

“Arsenal have an Achilles heel from set-pieces and I’m not sure what Leno was doing at the end.

“He was taking liberties and they were punished. And they’ve only got themselves to blame.”

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