Mikel Arteta: Why Everton's Europa League revenge will be sweet

16 February 2010 10:00
Mikel Arteta 300

MIKEL ARTETA wants to make Sporting pay for the thrashing fellow Lisbon outfit Benfica dished out to Everton while he could only watch in frustration.

The Toffees' talisman was recuperating from major surgery on his knee when Benifca beat an injury-ravaged Everton side 5-0 at the Estadio De La Luz in October.

Although the defeat, coupled with another 2-0 setback at Goodison the following month, did not prevent Everton qualifying from their Europa League group, Arteta watched in dismay and believes it sent out misleading signals to the rest of Europe.

Now, the 27-year-old Spaniard wants to cap his return to fitness by playing a key role in defeating Portugese giants Sporting in the last 32 knockout stage.

He said: 'When you are out it is very hard, but when they are winning it's okay. It is when things are not going well that it's really tough.

'The 5-0 defeat by Benfica in Portugal was after my second surgery.

'I was in the hotel watching it and I thought, 'this should be good today' but we had so many injuries, and played some of the young lads.

'I was actually very embarrassed watching it, because we were not very good that night and I hate when we put across an image of ourselves like that in Europe.

'That's not us and you have to explain that's not us, so it was bad.'

Source: Liverpool_Echo