Unai Emery says he’s proud of his Arsenal players after they booked their place in the Europa League semi-finals with a composed 1-0 win away at Napoli.
Winning 2-0 after the first leg, the Gunners knew they needed to produce a composed performance in the San Paolo Stadium and they delivered exactly that with Alex Lacazette’s superb free-kick adding an extra gloss.
“I am very proud of my players and proud of our work,” he told his post-game press conference.
“Because here we showed the players can play against good players and show a big personality with our ideas.
“Maybe we wanted to take more possession with the ball and control the match with the ball a bit better, but we didn’t do everything I wanted. But our position in the first half was very good on the pitch, we pressed well and stopped their combinations.
“We pressed them a lot, and we were in their box a lot of times with the chance to score. Our objective was to score and now we must be consistent over the 90 minutes.”
He added: “I think we deserved to win against them in the two matches, at home and here today, because we respected them a lot.
“We worked to cut off their best tactics and individuals with our pressing. We pressed them a lot and we defended very well. We worked very hard in the match.”
Arsenal’s reward is a double-header with Emery’s former club Valencia. We’ll host the Spaniards, who beat La Liga rivals Villarreal 5-1 on aggregate, between Premier League games with Leicester and Brighton before travelling to the Mestalla prior to our last domestic game of the season.
“They are a very good team with good players,” he told BT Sport. “It will be a difficult match for us.”