Arsenal boss Unai Emery cautious ahead of Europa League quarter-final second leg despite impressive 2-0 victory over Napoli at Emirates
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A cautious Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has been speakng after his Gunners side beat Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli side 2-0 at the Emirates after a superb performance. Read on for the full transcript of what he said following the impressive victory over the Neapolitans in the first leg of the Europa League quarter finals.
On how happy he is…
Good evening. 50 per cent, because we know the first leg today was very important for us to take a good result and a good feeling, also with our supporters and with this competition. I think we deserved the result. The two halves were very different because in the first half we controlled the ball very well and controlled with our positioning and attacked their box with the players, scoring two goals and some chances more. We didn’t concede a lot for them, only the one chance they earned in the first half. The second was different for us because they took more control with the ball and had more possession, but our transition also was very good. We didn’t score but we created three very good chances. We only conceded one chance for them. I think it’s a good result but we know it’s going to be very difficult because our performances at home have usually been very strong. They’re going to use their possibilities and attacking options against us for a comeback. Our objective now is to continue being competitive like we are here, away with our gameplay for the next matches.
On if he feels that the first 45 minutes should give the players confidence for next week…
Yes, it’s very important for us, the result and this atmosphere here. With this competition, the feeling with our supporters is very important. We take confidence after the last result away, but we know we need to continue our work because the first leg is important for us, but we need to know and take a lot of respect for them away.
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On regretting not scoring the third goal…
I think the result is fair. They also created two chances but they didn’t score. Maybe we created also chances to do the third goal, but I think we can be happy with this result. Two-nil is a good result, 3-0 is a good result, but away we are going to play 90 minutes very different because they are going to be more competitive here than today because they will be in their stadium and with their supporters they have one step more in their aggressiveness and their efficiency. Our challenge and success is if we are going to be competitive away.
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On if he can play such an attacking team away…
We are going to prepare for the match and the gameplan like we think we are more competitive and the idea is not changing. We want to win every match. These results give us a small difference with them, but our target is going to be away also, to think to win the match. We are going to prepare like that, but also with respect for them because they are very strong at home. Defensively they are going to ask more of us than they did today.
On how he sees the tie…
It’s 50/50. The result doesn’t change the idea I had before the match. It’s 50/50 - the result is a good result and can give us some advantage, but playing away, I know continuing with the same 50/50 for each team.
On Ramsey’s form - and how impressed he is…
His performances in this moment for us [show] that he wants to do something important with us, because I think he feels a lot for Arsenal as a club. When he’s here with our supporters, he gives us all he can, not individually, but in the collective.
On if he’ll miss Ramsey…
I want to enjoy this moment with him. I want to do something important with him. His focus is very big, he’s thinking of Arsenal only.
On Torreira’s celebration…
I don’t know.
On Arsenal’s home form and if he expects his team to win at Emirates Stadium…
Each match is going to be very difficult. We are winning here because we feel very strong with our supporters and our confidence, with each player giving all they can. Away, we are fighting against teams. They feel the same when they play against us. For example, Watford on Monday is a very difficult match, because they are a good team and they are going t feel stronger at home with their supporters. It’s the same next week in Naples, they will feel different to today. We need to be competitive, we need to be strong in our mentality to try to do the same situation we are doing at home. Sometimes when we have the ball with the first action, when we have space, we need to attack the space. Sometimes away, we’re a little more [cautious], losing the speed we have at home. This is our challenge to find our success in this season. We need to be consistent like we are at home, maybe in a different way, with different ideas, players or systems. But [we need] the same mentality when we play away.
On players getting cramp and Ancelotti commenting that could give Napoli an advantage in second leg…
I think we’re OK. The players finished tired because they worked a lot. But I prefer to finish like that and not finish matches with the possibility to continue playing. I know, and the players also, that we need every player to be ready to play and help. On Monday, I am sure we are going to play different players but [try] to find the same performance. Some players after playing with this demanding performance physically, maybe we need something different. Next week it will be the same in Naples. We’re going to prepare for Monday first, and also recover the players after the game today thinking that we are going to play a lot of matches [every] three days. We need every player with the commitment, with the behaviour and the performances.
Follow Arsenal reporter Layth on Twitter @laythy29 when he travels to Naples for the second leg