Emery: We showed big personality

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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.”

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Dr Zebra
Dr Zebra

Credit to Emery for getting us to play tactical and intelligent football. Our test remains if we can maintain this until the end of our season. Hopefully we can and we can build on these performances, home and away! COYG!!

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

What kind of a weird universe do we live in where we can come to Naples and comfortably get a win but no one thinks we can do it at Leicester next week? Really hope Unai reminds them of tonight before every one of our remaining away fixtures.

COYG!!!

Segun Goonereris
Segun Goonereris

Good point. Guess the only difference is one is Knock-out football. But it’s a fair point it can be fodder for a rallying cry.

VAR will solve the problem
VAR will solve the problem

What a goal by Lacazette! …needed someone to deliver today and up stepped man. Ramsey going off, Napoli just starting to look threatening and crowd braying for blood…if we didnt score that goal at that time, i think it could have been really different. Napoli lost all their composure and we found the calmness to see out the reminder of the match after that.
And the wall did it’s work ( the Arsenal playere standing in the wall moving to the wrong direction and wrong footing the keeper).

Onenil
Onenil

Maybe after 2 wins our away form is coming together? Just in time and credit to Emery.

Santori
Santori

Great tactics from the gaffer.

They were trying to come out all guns firing so we did not go too defensive and took it to them with LacaAuba.

As expected no Ozil. Ramsey provided industry. Less expected Granit. Though we may be conservative with him today on account of recent injury. BUT a welcome addition.

We’ve really stifled a very good team this season in Naples.

All the talk by pundits and some people here that we were in for a beating…

As mentioned, we needed to be sharp and non forgiving up top. One AWAY goal would kill it.

And Laca duly stepped up.

Need to refocus quickly now for Palace.

We have a chance still to keep pressure and catch Spurts with them having to play a wounded Schitty.

We need to take our positives to Palace. Its 2 away wins (Naples and Watford neither easy) plus clean sheets last 3 matches.

Lets get those 3 points.

Santori
Santori

Valencia.

We have to be able to beat them.

Its setting up for a Chelsea Arsenal final. I hope we get there and beat them (again like FA cup)

Santori
Santori

Oh an nothing classy with the red shorts.

Loathsome kit.

If we’re wearing the first kit top, then white shorts. Its a classic and doesn’t need further extrapolation. Bloody Puma.

Awful.

Jack gunner
Jack gunner

All matches are difficult ,Emery said. I believe the Napoli was the toughest
of the lot. I was really impressed with the defence.Under Wenger
there was no defence,to speak of.
Hopefully the away record in the epl can be banished for good and a
new beginning made.

DLDC
DLDC

Is it possible that Arsenal are developing into a, dare I say, decent defensive team? Been a while since someone scored. Maybe the players are no different but there does seem to be a group commitment.

Dave M
Dave M

The Skipper is a nice consistent presence to have back in there!

The Far Post
The Far Post

Not sure if I was seeing things… Weren’t there many empty seats in the San Paulo stadium yesterday? Is it usually like that there, or did the Napoli fans give up on the tie even before the kick off?