Unai Emery believes Arsenal only have a “50-50” chance of reaching the Europa League final despite a commanding win in their semi-final first-leg clash against Valencia on Thursday night.
Two goals from Alexandre Lacazette and an added-time effort from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inspired a comeback victory at the Emirates Stadium for an Arsenal side who came into the clash having lost their last three games and conceding nine in the process.
Despite the result, Emery – who spent four years as a manager at Valencia – issued a warning to his players with their visitors notching a valuable away goal.
“We can be happy today, also, we can be proud of our supporters. We felt this support for us in 90 minutes and also I am proud of the players.
“After 1-0 [down], it’s not easy to be calm and come back with the result. It’s not normal. They are a very, very good team, it’s the reason why I am very proud of our work today.”
Emery went on to express his happiness with Lacazette and Aubameyang’s clinical performances, admitting he will try to enjoy the second leg at his former stomping ground as much as possible.
On his two forwards, Emery said: “Yes, very good performance. But every player in the whole team [played well]. I am proud of them, their work. But I told them the second leg will be difficult.
“I want to enjoy this semi-final. I want to enjoy playing, enjoy our team, our players and our supporters. It’s going to be very, very tough there.
“They are one team with a habit of playing in semi-finals of different competitions. They can come back. But I want to play, prepare and go there – it’s one semi-final to play and to enjoy.”