Mikel Arteta admitted it will be extremely difficult for Arsenal to qualify for next season's Champions League following their heartbreaking Europa League loss to Olympiacos.

The Gunners looked set for the last-16 when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put his side 2-1 up on aggregate in extra time at the Emirates, but a last-minute goal from Youssef El-Arabi stunned the home team and knocked them out of the competition.

The result means the only way Arsenal can qualify for Europe's elite competition is via the Premier League, but they currently sit seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea .

And when asked about his side's chances of playing in the Champions League next season, the Spaniard appeared pessimistic.

Mikel Arteta and his side were left devastated by the loss to Olympiacos

"Very hard because looking at the table we're still far from the objectives that we all have, but we've been far all season from it and we have to keep fighting," Arteta said.

"The most important thing now is that the dressing room has to be strong and we have to keep going and react. First of all, I have to convince them about what happened in the game and why they are not through in the tie.

"If they continue to do that, there will be rewards like we have done in the last 10 games that we played. I just want to concentrate now on lifting those players and getting back the belief, and convince them that there is still a lot to play for, and move on.

Arteta will have to try to boost his players for the visit to Portsmouth on Monday

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"It's part of this sport that a big disappointment can happen and it happened. We have to learn and react as a team and as a club."

The Gunners will look to bounce back from their disappointment in one cup competition with victory in another, with a fifth round tie against Portsmouth in the FA Cup on Monday on the horizon.