'We have to catch them up!' - Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta full of praise for women's team after Champions League victory

Mikel Arteta Stina Blackstenius Manuela Zinsberger Arsenal compositeGetty/GOAL
  • Arteta watched women's team at Emirates
  • Praises Arsenal's progress to Champions League semis
  • Wants men's team to also have European success

WHAT HAPPENED? Arteta was spotted in the crowd at the Emirates on Wednesday night as Jonas Eidevall's side overcame a 1-0 deficit from the first leg of their quarter-final against Bayern, beating the German giants 2-0 on home soil. Midfielder Frida Maanum levelled the tie on aggregate with an absolute rocket before Stina Blackstenius' header a few minutes later eventually proved the difference.

The result puts the Gunners into the UWCL semi-finals for the first time in 10 years. They remain the only English side to have won the trophy after triumphing back in 2007.

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WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking about the women's team reaching the last four in his press conference on Friday, Arteta said: “It was beautiful. It was great to have the experience to live it there and the crowd that we had in the game, especially the way they played. In the first half it was a real joy to watch.

"It is a big achievement, it hasn't happened for many, many years at the club and we have to catch them up. This is the beauty of it, getting things inside the club that are inspiring for each other and can make us closer and better.”

Asked about Maanum's wonder strike, he added: "Beautiful. The moment the ball left her feet we knew it was going in. It is just a beautiful finish.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arsenal's men's team haven't played in the Champions League since the 2016-17 season but are well on course to secure a return to the competition this year as they battle with Manchester City for the Premier League title.


Frida Maanum Arsenal 2022-23Getty ImagesStina Blackstenius Arsenal Women 2022-23GettyMikel Arteta 2023Getty

WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? Arteta's team face Leeds on Saturday afternoon as they look to maintain - or extend - the eight point lead they have at the top of the Premier League table. Eidevall's side, meanwhile, have a huge crunch clash with second-placed Manchester City on Sunday as they try to reassert themselves in their own title race.