Mikel Arteta has said Arsenal are facing a crucial fortnight that could define their season.
The Gunners surrendered their FA Cup crown when crashing out at the hands of Southampton in January, and a title challenge in the Premier League never got off the ground.
They sit in 11th in the Premier League, nine points adrift of fourth place, and have little room for manoeuvre if they are to challenge for a Champions League qualification spot.
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In the next two weeks, the Gunners take on Benfica over two legs in the last 32 of the Europa League - and Arteta is aware that negative results could end their season.
“It’s going to be crucial,” Arteta said ahead of the meeting with Leeds in the Premier League on Sunday. “We don’t have any margin now in the league and, in the Europa League, they are knockout games, so the moment you don’t do what you have to do you are out.
First of all, we have to improve our position in the league dramatically, and in order to do that we have to win a lot of football matches.
“How many will depend on what the opponents do because at the moment it’s not in our hands.
“We need to get into Europe, into a really, really close situation where we can compete for that ‘trophy’, because that’s going to be key as well to see where we can compete in which competition next season.”
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Following the meeting with Leeds, Arsenal take on Benfica on Thursday before returning to Premier League action against runaway leaders Manchester City on February 21. After taking on City, the second leg against Benfica looms into focus on February 25.
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