Arsenal manager, Unai Emery was in triumphant mood after Arsenal cruised into the quarterfinals of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night.
Concise News reports that an action-packed 3-0 win at Emirates Stadium meant that the Gunners won 4-3 on aggregate, progressing to the next stage of the competition.
Emery was quizzed on a number of subjects by the gathered media – and here is what he says:
On the game
We can be proud of our supporters and our players today because it’s been a very difficult week against Manchester United on Sunday and then today against Rennes after our defeat away. I think today we played very, very consistently in the 90 minutes, being also competitive without the ball above all and very serious defensively. I missed a little more control with the ball, some possession. But they left, usually a lot of players in the attacking third and gave us a lot of possibilities to attack the space against them and run more in the transition. It’s not all like we wanted with the control, but I think our match was competitive and it was very well today.
On Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and why he subbed Lacazette
We decided also one plan for 90 minutes because we knew that we needed 90 minutes and maybe more, because at 3-0 if they had scored we were going to play extra time. I think Iwobi and Micki, they deserved before the match to play today, and when they support us for 30 minutes, changing with good work from Mesut and good work from Lacazette, they helped us a lot. These 10 minutes after this change, their impact was a good impact with the goal and creating two chances. I think we need every player. Today the first 11 were important but also the other players.
On Arsenal’s chances of winning the competition
These two matches gave us a very difficult way. This competition, today, for example, Inter Milan is out, Sevilla is out. A big surprise. The last eight teams are very important teams and it is going to be very difficult. But we are going to think the same ideas before this match, before Sunday’s match against Manchester United. The next match is the most important match for us and the next competition is the same. After 15 days, we are going to play against Newcastle here in the Premier League and the other matches in the Europa League. We are going to prepare for each match as if it’s the most important.
English clubs in Europe
I knew in the Champions League and the Europa League, in different moments it is sometimes Spanish clubs, other times English clubs or Italian or German clubs. But it is one thing. Champions League is very important but the Europa League grew up a lot and now is giving every team the possibility to play in the Champions League. In the domestic league, like here, we have six teams playing to be in the top four. Two teams are going out and the Europa League is giving us a big opportunity also to take one way to go to the Champions League. And also, it’s one title. I said to the players today, I am excited about this competition. It’s not just because you can get to the Champions League through this competition. It’s also because it’s one title and I think we can feel the possibility to win one title, doing this way with a difficult moment like today and playing also against big teams. But I think we can feel this competition like in the Premier League, to do a good way and create, with our supporters, a big atmosphere and a big feeling together to do this way in the Premier League and also here in the Europa League. Together and stronger.
On Aubameyang’s Black Panther celebration and the booking
I don’t have an opinion about that. For me the most important is his performance today, giving us the goals, with the assist, and that’s the best thing for me.
On whether the victory has given Arsenal belief
It’s giving us very big confidence on Sunday against Manchester United and the same with this performance and this victory. This comeback was very difficult but I think our reaction was a very good reaction from every player. Playing under pressure is good. Growing up under pressure, every player, like a team. And to feel difficult moments to give us our best performances in these moments. For us, today and Sunday, we were playing and being competitive. I think it’s good confidence for us to feel that. After, if I am very demanding of myself, I want to take the best confidence with the ball, with the control with the ball with the possession, because I think against Manchester United and today, we lost a little bit these moments with the ball to give us the confidence with the ball and to control the match with the ball.