Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall called on his team to quickly pick up their spirits after the Gunners narrowly failed to reach the Women’s Champions League final with a 3-2 extra-time loss to Wolfsburg.
Arsenal remain the only English team to have won the European club title and it took Pauline Bremer until second half extra time in front of a sold-out crowd of 60,063 at the Emirates to set up a meeting with Barcelona on June 3. End of Eindhoven.
Yet it was a valiant effort from the frazzled hosts, whose injury-plagued season has seen them lose top talent, including captain Kim Little, forwards Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead and, most recently, England captain Leah Williamson. .
“[We’re hurting] quite a lot,” admitted Eidevall. “He’s tough. There’s no question about it, because it was a very thin margin game and they’re not on our side tonight.
“So I think we are allowed to feel pain tonight, we can feel empty, but we can also feel proud of our performance and for the occasion with the fans which is magnificent, so there are a lot of emotions.
“Sometimes things work out for you and you think that’s always justified, sometimes that works against you and it feels terrible.
“But I also choose to look at it that way, that we as a group make it to the Champions League semi-final with all the injuries we have, with all the challenges we have, we do that, and that’s really amazing. . And I’m very proud of the players and staff who can do that.
“We are in a difficult situation for the remainder of the season to recover both our feet and our heads from here, but on Friday we already have a very important [Women’s Super League] match against Leicester”.
The hosts, who sit fourth in the WSL but with two games in hand over league leaders Manchester United, were first on the scoreboard as Stina Blackstenius scored a half-century of appearances for Arsenal with the opener. , but saw it canceled by the former Gunner. Jill Roord before the break.
Wolfsburg captain Alexandra Popp put the visitors ahead after the restart before Jen Beattie’s equalizer forced extra time, when Katie McCabe’s cross struck the woodwork before a defensive lapse from England defender Lotte Wubben-Moy allow Jule Brand to jump up and feed Bremer, who slid in and scored. the winner in the 119th minute.
Otherwise, Wubben-Moy had an excellent night, with a critical tackle to deny Ewa Pajor a chance before setting up Beattie’s equalizer, but looked crushed by the final result.
When asked how he felt, his boss replied, “I’ve told you to keep your head up, there’s no need to apologize. Mistakes happen in soccer. We win as a team, we lose as a team. We are there for each other.
“We learn. It’s inevitable sometimes. They made mistakes today too and we were close to capitalizing on them. So it’s part of the game. She was absolutely fantastic if you look at it as a total performance and lately she has been too. We’re there on for each other.”