Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal must step it up for Barcelona, says Per Mertesacker

Per Mertesacker admits Arsenal were missing something as they were taken to an FA Cup replay by Hull - and knows the Gunners need to find whatever it was before tomorrow's meeting with Barcelona.

Arsene Wenger's side dominated against the Tigers at the Emirates on Saturday but, unlike their FA Cup final meeting in 2014 and last year's third-round tie, they could not beat Steve Bruce's men and drew 0-0.

Hull keeper Eldin Jakupovic made several good saves to keep Arsenal at bay, with a replay not what either side would have been particularly keen on.

Mertesacker wants to see an improvement from the attacking unit when the Catalan giants come to town.

"We missed a bit of something and we have to come back quickly," he said. "We have a very important game, the first leg against Barcelona, and it will be another buzzing night but it is up to us how we perform.

"It is down to us, we produced a good defensive performance but overall in the final third, that little final pass at the end, we always rushed ourselves at times to finish so we need to learn from that.

"We had a couple of good chances and we couldn't keep the pressure as high as we wanted.

"We had enough chances to win, but we were unlucky. Overall it was disappointing, especially our finishing. We allowed (Jakupovic) to make some decent saves because we were not that decisive."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph