- Eidevall explained why Arsenal lost to Paris FC
- Crashed out of Women's Champions League
- Alessia Russo netted a brace
WHAT HAPPENED? The Gunners went down on penalties against Paris FC in their first round qualifying clash on Saturday. Despite a spirited performance by Alessia Russo, who scored twice after coming off the bench, Arsenal failed to progress in the Women's Champions League. After the match, manager Jonas Eidevall praised his team's effort while suggesting that due to having a 'limited' pre-season they were caught off guard.
WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to Arsenal.com, Eidevall said, "There’s a lot of thoughts and feelings from this game. I think we could see in the first half that Paris were asking us some tactical questions in our build-up that we had not seen Paris do before. We have not been really asked those questions before either because of our limited pre-season time. That took a little bit of time for us to figure out. Once we did that, I think things were looking quite good in the game. Goals change football matches, especially when you concede two in the lapse of two minutes. And that puts us in a really difficult situation. Our response to being in that situation, I think is brilliant.
"I think the morale, the belief that the players show is astonishing. And I think we do good tactical changes from the side so we create the situations that we want and we can fight our way back into the game. Then going into extra time, I think we start off managing that really well in the first 15 minutes. Again, we do a small error in our organisation, we concede a third goal and we have to chase again, successful again. What morale by the players to never give up. We have chances to win the game in the dying minutes of that extra time and then we go to a penalty shootout where I just feel for the players that are not successful for us tonight and to give them the support because this is unfortunately what elite sport is. You're not going to win all the time and sometimes we are going to be on the wrong side of taking a penalty for it."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The defeat comes as a huge shock for the Gunners, who reached the quarter-finals and semi-finals in the last two editions of the competition. Although Russo grabbed a stunning equaliser to send the game to extra time, the England international was among the Arsenal players to miss in the penalty shootout.
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WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? Eidevall's side next face Liverpool in their Women's Super League opener on October 1. They will be highly motivated to put their Champions League disappointment behind them by enjoying a strong domestic campaign.