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Spanish midfielder claims his side are still in with a shout of progression despite the heavy defeat, and adds that the pitch was not to blame in their 4-0 loss to AC Milan

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta believes it is still possible for his team to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The 29-year-old was part of the Gunners side who were humiliated on Wednesday night, losing 4-0 in San Siro to Serie A leaders AC Milan.

Despite the uphill task that awaits them in the second leg, he believes goals in the first half could give his team a chance of pulling off a remarkable comeback.

The Spaniard told the Evening Standard: "Never say never in Football. If we score two goals in the first half at the Emirates then it is game on."

The state of the Italian pitch was a major talking point during and after the game but the midfielder refused to use it as an excuse for his side's poor performance.

"There is nothing we can do about the pitch. It was absolutely awful - you had no control at all. They are more used to it because they play here every week but I don't think we need excuses.

"They were the better team and deserved to win. We go to London with a really disappointing result.

"Everything became difficult after the first goal. They scored three goals on the counter-attack. It is difficult to take in and we have to change our mindset. We have another tough game on Saturday [at Sunderland in the FA Cup]."