It was looking really good for Arsenal in the Europa League when we were drawn quickly out of the hat to play away at Napoli, which always gives the advantage to the team that plays the second leg at home. But thanks to a new ruling by UEFA, the Gunners will now have to play the first leg at the Emirates, while Chelsea keep the advantage of playing their second leg against Slavia Prague at Stamford Bridge.
UEFA released a statement explaining their decision, it read: “Following a decision made by the relevant local authorities, Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC cannot play at home on the same night.
“Should both clubs be drawn within the same sequence (home or away), the team having the lower priority – in this case Arsenal FC because Chelsea FC won the FA Cup – will be reversed in accordance with the UEFA Club Competitions Committee principles.
“The match schedule for the quarter-finals (including a potential reversal involving Arsenal FC) will be communicated to all parties at approximately 14.45 CET on Friday 15 March.
“The calendar for the semi-finals (including a potential reversal involving Arsenal FC, for the same reasons, if both clubs from London are still remaining in the competition) will be communicated to all parties on 20 April at the latest.”
So, in other words, even if Arsenal manage to overcome Napoli, they will have exactly the same disadvantage in the semifinal as well!