Bukayo Saka says Arsenal were passive and horrible before they turned the tables over Villarreal.
But the Gunners star insists they WILL reach the Europa League final – IF they get their heads right for the second leg.
Goals from Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol put Arsenal right up against it on Thursday night – before Dani Ceballos got himself sent off.
But Mikel Arteta’s men rallied after Saka won a penalty that Nicolas Pepe scored to secure an important away goal.
And the England youngster is appealing for more help from his team-mates when Villarreal visit the Emirates next week.
Saka said: “For me, I think I always try my best but it’s not about me. These big semi-finals, I can’t win the game by myself, nobody can win a game by themselves.
“I think the team, the way we started was horrible. You can’t start a game like this and it’s no surprise we went 2-0 down.
“I think, to be honest, to go to 10 men and react and get a goal back, I think we did really well.
“So, we leave ourselves with a good chance of going through at the Emirates. There are a lot of positives, which all came in the second half.
“But, like I said, it’s a semi-final, Europa League, and to start the game like this it’s impossible to have a chance of scoring.
“We didn’t create anything, we lost every duel, we were passive and it’s really frustrating to look back on it.
“But I am just happy that in the second half, we picked ourselves up and we got a good chance and we managed to score. So, we have given ourselves a chance at the Emirates.”
At 2-0 down and reduced to ten men Saka feared Arsenal were on their way out of the competition.
That would be a huge blow as the Europa League represents their only realistic hope of a return to the Champions League next season.
But Saka believes Pepe’s late goals has completely changed the dynamic of the tie – and warned Villarreal to beware a backlash in the second leg.
He said: “Yes, 100 per cent. I definitely think we showed we are better than them, even with 10 men we were dominating them.
“So, it is just up to us. It is always up to us. We have a team full of quality players and, when we play properly, we can beat anyone and we showed that today.”
Source: Read Full Article