Unai Emery is never one to get carried away following a good win and last night was no different despite his team beating Valencia 3-1 and taking a huge step towards the Europa League final.
Two goals from Alex Lacazette and a critical third from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 90th minute means we go to the Mestalla next week with a two-goal advantage, however, our opponents do have that crucial away goal and that has not escaped the manager which is probably why he reckons the tie remains in the balance.
Speaking to the media after the game Emery said he was happy, that he was proud of the supporters and players but conceded that the second leg will be difficult.
“We can be happy today” Emery said
“Also, we can be proud of our supporters because here in Emirates we found this support for us in the 90 minutes”
“I’m also proud of the players because after 1-0 it’s not easy to be calm and come back with the result against this team. It’s not normal that Valencia concede three goals, especially after starting at 1-0 because they are a very, very good team on the transition. That’s the reason I am proud of our work today. But the second leg is going to be very difficult”
Emery also made it abundantly clear that we will not be sitting on our lead, that we will be going for goal and attempt to do in Spain what we did in Italy in the previous game against Napoli and that as far as he is concerned the approach to the game will be as if it was still a 50/50 game.
“Yes, we are going to prepare for the match thinking that this round is 50/50 for both” he said
“We need also to play there thinking to win, thinking to score, thinking to defend well and thinking also to take our moments in attack. We can control with the ball and possession, but we don’t know because they are going to feel strong with their supporters there”
I think Emery has it basically right in his attitude but do disagree that the game is 50/50.
A two-goal margin does shift the tie in our favour, of course, with our defence Valencia are more than capable of putting two goals past us but I am confident that our frontline is just as capable of finding the back of the net at least once.
We cannot be overconfident and must respect our opponents but we should not downplay the result of last night’s game either, we did very well and we are in control of the tie now.
If we fail to make the final we will have no one else to blame but ourselves.
O.T so Pochetino is now saying they focused to be above us in d past 5 years and now that they achieved it they want Tittles let me laugh
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX IWOBI ?
Don’t forget to send your wishes guys. Show some love ?
Happy bday Alex ????????
Truly an arsenal great ,up there with Bergkamp and Henry .
Ok then ! I love you darling Alex. I love the way you run around so sweetly and happily in your headless chicken impression, which is brilliant by the way. I also love that you try so hard even with so little productivity. I would love you even MORE if you ever became half as good as some of your less lovely teammates. My undying love though darling and happy birthday. I HAVE NOT BOUGHT YOU A PRESENT ON THIS OCCASION but you gave me one last night by remaining on the bench.
???? brilliant Jon ?
No birthday wishes from you Sue? Oh come on!!
@xnofx, deep down I know you really meant that. Thanks I’ll make sure Iwobi sees it.
I’m sorry TH14… that made me chuckle, I’m not used to Jon being that funny ?
Happy Birthday Alex!! ??? Where’s the party tonight?
There… I’ve shown some love..
Really Jon?! ??
You just had to didn’t you… lol ?
No Th14, I didn’t have to but you gave me an unmissable feed line and risk a far better punch line than even mine (which I DID think quite good to be truthful) if you keep parading your odd obsession with this truly moderate player (even though he does give his all , to be fair) But his “all” is widely seen by virtually all non Nigerians as being nowhere near the required standard. I would ask yourself is your obsession anything to do with your joint nationality or is it not? I very much doubt anyone will believe the latter. Most fans give no thought to ANY players nationality and EVERY thought to his ability or lack of it, quite irrespective of an accident of birth and heritage. That is the fully evolved way to think and to act!
LOL, nice one Jon 🙂 Made me chuckle.
Happy birthday Iwobi.
I do really like how Emery gets excited when we score!! He buzzes even more so than I do!
He is right and his Arsenal have the best overall stats in Europe compared to Arsenal’s ex-managers’:
– Wins: Most wins (10 wins)
– Draws: Second best (1 draw)
– Losses: Third best (2 losses)
– Goal difference: The largest goal difference (18 goals)
I believe he would bring the EL trophy, because the overall stats prove that he is an EL specialist. All Gooners must support him, despite the disappointing EPL performances, at least until we are no longer participating in EL
If we don’t win Europa League, it will not be because Emery didn’t try, but sometimes things happen. I know he is very experienced with this competition, winning it will take away all the grieve of premier league.
Coincidentally, 2 Europa League wins give us the champions League while 2 Premier League wins might do the same! I hope we spread the risk and go for both. Strongest line up from here till the end. If we miss it this round, next season will even be harder with a £40M budget.
QD, I agree; surely with with 3, potentially 4 provided all goes well away to Valencia, professional footballers (marring injury) can put in an intense effort until the end of the season. Emery should select what he believes is Arsenal’s best team for the remaining matches. Nothing should be left in the locker.
Liverpool are presently on 91 points. They could win the remaining two games and still not win the league. I mean a team finishing 97 points and still not win the league..it shows how competitive the EPL is. It also shows you need to be very good defensively and in attack to win the EPL. We have very good attack but poor defence. No leadership at the back. Therefore, for us to have a shot at the EPL next season, we need to sign 3 players in the summer. koulibaly, nabil Fekir and Doucoure..And Emery should be more ruthless. Be more effective with a 433 system as a plan A and then tinker with other formations as the season goes. Front 3 of lacazette, Aubameyang and Fekir. midfield of Torrera, doucoure, and Ozil. Sell Elneny, Welbeck and Mustafi. 5 central Defenders (Sokratis, Mavropanus, Holding, Koulibaly, and Kos.) Midfield of Xhaka, Torrera, Guendouzi, Ozil, Doucoure, Mhkitaryan, Forward: Aubameyang, Lacazette, Fekir, Iwobi(Get a coach to teach him how to take shots like a man).
We need a top squad to win the league and make progress in the CL. Getting those 3 players is not much to ask for. We are a top club. We should get top players in.
Not if Kroenke has something to say about that! Came across some Colorado Rapids fans online and Kroenke is starving their club off of funds too! Koulibaly will cost at least £90M, and after the shady performance he put in when we dispatched them am not sure he is worth it. I believe we must sell Mkhitaryan as well and get somebody in addition to Fekir because if Fekir gets injured it’s back to Iwobi.
I keep hearing how this shows how competitive the league is. I don’t think that’s how it translates! If say 5 or 6 teams are going for the league with a few games to go, that’s competetive. It shows man city and Liverpool are streets ahead and that the premier league is not that competetive. Just my opinion
Of course, Emery is right to think the 2nd leg semi-final match away to Valencia at Mestalla has a 50-50 chance look to it for both Arsenal and Valencia. This true because the match will not be in the Emirates Stadium where Arsenal have only lost 3 times in all competitions this season to Man City in the PL, Spurs in the Carabao Cup and of recent to the lowly League placed Crystal Palace team. The next Arsenal match in the ELC will be at away where once Arsenal have shown they can be susceptible to defeat this season after they lost to BATE Borisov but they quickly made amend to their being susceptible to defeat at away in the Europa as they hit Napoli 0-1 to reach the semi-final stage of the competition.
If Arsenal don’t suffer any injury blows to key Gunners in their home match against Brighton & HA on Sunday as they chase after a top-four place finish in the match against the still relegation threatened Brighton, the chances are, with 2 goals cushion to their advantage as they head to Mestalla, Arsenal should beat Valencia in the 2nd leg semi-final match next Thursday night to reach the final match. But for Arsenal to achieve this rare feast, the Gunners MUST adhere to discipline in all aspect of their lives off an on the field of play before the match takes place, so that they’ll not miss this rare opportunity that comes their way but seize it with both their hands and make a very good use of it.
I agree with the coach on this one, knowing how brilliant the Arsenal team is away from home , this tie is anything but done and dusted. It is within our ability to score 1 goal at mastella and also concede 3 or 4 goals, you can never be too sure when it comes to Arsenal away from home.
Th 14, now this is a far better and more well thought through post. Easy to agree with it therefore!
Thank you Jon ??
Th 14, Credit where it is due and the same with criticism too,. No fear or favour to ANYONE, just my honest thoughts written as I perceive things.