Unai Emery says Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final with Valencia remains in the balance despite his side coming from behind to record a 3-1 win in the first leg at the Emirates.
Mouctar Diakhaby’s early header stirred the Gunners into action as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Granit Xhaka set up Alex Lacazette’s brace before the break.
The Frenchman had two chances to further extend the lead in the second half before Aubameyang added a gloss to the scoreline with a clinical back post volley in stoppage time.
Arsenal will now travel to the Mestalla in a strong position but while Emery was proud of his players he thinks it’ll be difficult at his former club.
He told BT Sport: “In the first leg we wanted to get a good result, knowing that it would be difficult. After the first goal our response was very good, with calmness and passion. We took our moments and the goals in the first half gave us confidence.
“We wanted to win and not to concede a second goal, but we also had to play. The third goal came at the end and for us it was important, but [the tie] continues to be 50-50.”
Asked for his assessment of Valencia who started brightly but then faded, Emery added: “Valencia are a good team. They played with strong players defensively and in midfield. They’re strong at set-pieces, they scored and we struggled with set-pieces.
“We’ll continue to work on what we can improve, on what we can do better, but generally in the first leg, over the 90 minutes, we can be happy and proud of the players and supporters. Now we will prepare the same for the second leg because we know it will be very difficult.”