Arsenal boss Eidevall says his team 'never give up' following Barcelona defeat

File photo dated 29-09-2021 of Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall. Issue date: Monday October 4, 2021.

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall. - Credit: PA

Jonas Eidevall says he learned he has a team that “never gives up” following their opening Champions League group-stage game defeat against Barcelona on Tuesday night. 

Arsenal went down 4-1 with goals from Mariona Caldentey,Alexia Putellas, Asisat Oshoala and Lieke Martens while Frida Maanum netted her first goal for the Gunners.

Eidevall said: “I learned that we have a team that never gives up, it was a very tough game and we probably couldn’t have played a better team.

"We take the way we played in the second half as a real positive, it’s a tough result to take but I am really proud that we gave our best for the whole game.

"This is a standard for how good we need to be on the ball to play out from their press and we can learn from that and bring it to training as the standard and use it as a catalyst.”

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When asked if he expected to be pinned in by Barcelona’s high press so much the Swede said: “We didn’t expect it, no, Barcelona played very, very well and they play in a way that means they deny you space and time with the ball and there were a few occasions when we found some spaces.

"In the second half we found spaces many more times and we gave them some problems but they are a team that is better than any other opponent we have played this season.

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"But we will learn from it for the future and it will raise our standards and we will be better.”

On how Barcelona dominated the game the 38-year-old went on to add “They have a lot of great players but the difference is that they are a really good team and what makes them a really good team is that they have really good players on the wing one on one, like Caroline Graham Hansen and Lieke Martens.

"They also have really good players in midfield and they can break lines and they have really fast players like Oshoala who can beat you with runs in behind.

"Most teams can’t hurt you in so many ways and that is one of Barca’s biggest strengths, they can punish you in different ways, which makes it very difficult to stop them.”

Arsenal made a triple change in the 57th minute bringing on Tobin Heath,Caitlin Foord and Nikita Parris as Viviannne Miedema,Beth Mead and Katie McCabe replaced and Arsenal improved drastically with the changes.

“It was a scenario we had in mind before the game but you have to keep your options open when you play the game, but at that time of the game we felt it would give us a bit more energy and helped us to press them with a bit more intensity.”

Asked to sum up his emotions on the sideline throughout the game Eidevall went on to add: “As a coach you always try to find solutions and you also try to instil belief in your players. It is small margins in games like this and the decision making needs to be so good.

"It doesn’t work for me to scream and direct the players from the sidelines because if you’re half a second too late when you make a pressing run, they play the ball into the space behind and they are past you.

"But I am really proud of my players, they never gave up and we will learn from this going forward.”

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