Arteta targets Europa glory following Manchester City loss

Raheem Sterling's solitary goal condemned Arsenal to its third defeat in four games and left them in 10th on the table.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta described Thursday's Europa League last-32 second-leg clash against Benfica as a 'final' after Sunday's 1-0 home defeat by Manchester City further dented their hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Raheem Sterling's goal after 75 seconds condemned Arsenal to its third defeat in four games and left them in 10th with 34 points, 11 points adrift of fourth-placed West Ham United.

If Arsenal does miss out on a top-four spot, it can qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League and Arteta said the competition had taken on added significance, with its tie against Benfica finely poised after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

ALSO READ | Manchester City stay 10 points clear of United and Leicester

"The Europa League's always been really important but obviously every defeat now in the league will put us in a difficult position," Arteta said.

"We have to take it game by game, we need a run of games. I think we are having a big run of performances but we lost two or three games now in different ways and it's not we want.

"...We have a final on Thursday because we want to continue in the competition. We have to sleep, eat and we won't have time to train, then we fly to Greece," he added.

Arteta said he would make several changes to the side after a draining contest against City.

"I don't know if it will be five, four or seven. We will have to see how they react," he said.