Friday 24 January 2020

Emery: We're Gunner attack in Spain


Unai Emery says attack will be Arsenal's best form of defence when they go to Valencia looking to win an Europa League final spot.

The Gunners travel to Spain on Thursday for the second leg of their semi-final clash having won 3-1 at the Emirates in Thursday's first leg.

Alexandre Lacazette netted a first-half brace to cancel out Mouctar Diakhaby's early opener for the visitors, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang adding a last-minute third goal. Arsenal will guarantee themselves a place in the May 29 final in Baku if they concede fewer than two goals at the Mestalla.

But, having been impressed by his strike partnership in the first leg, former Valencia coach Emery is keen to kill the tie off with more goals rather than go out to defend.

"We need to play there thinking to win, thinking to score, thinking to take our moment in attack," he said ahead of tomorrow's clash with Brighton. "They are going to feel strong with their supporters there. Aubameyang and Lacazette played very well.

"We managed to get in dangerous situations near their goal, and in the first half towards the end we got in four to five times out wide."

Despite the win, Emery - who won three consecutive Europa League titles at Sevilla - insists the tie is in the balance. "It's not normal Valencia concede three goals. They are a very, very good team," he added.

"And it is the reason I am very proud of our work but it's going to be very difficult.

"I still believe that the tie is in the balance, we know how tough it will be to beat Valencia again. And they will be looking to respond."

Valencia coach Marcelino thought his side matched Arsenal for much of the game and still believed the La Liga outfit could make the final. "We are very sorry that we didn't manage to get a better result. Arsenal made the most of their opportunities, their first two attacks resulted in goals," he said.

"We know how tough it will be to win 2-0 against a very good side but, if we have our fans behind us, we can do it.

"We played well and the goal towards the end was a big surprise - nobody was expecting it. But we truly believe we can still reach the final."

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