Unai Emery has dismissed the notion that Arsenal are ahead of Napoli in their Europa League quarter-final, rating Thursday’s second leg ’50-50’.
Arsenal lead 2-0 in the tie but still have the return fixture to play at the San Paolo, against a Napoli side who returned to winning ways last weekend, cruising to a 3-1 victory over Chievo.
“It’s one football match and I think we are two teams with players with experience, with a big history and also they have a very good Coach,” Emery said at a Press conference, football.london reports.
“We played the first leg at home, the second leg here in San Paolo and we know it's going to be a different match. And we are waiting for from them the best performance.
“The best capacity here with the supporters, with the stadium, the quality and the skills and also the capacity tactically. But I think we are ready for tomorrow.
“We are speaking about the atmosphere here because they are going to play with this courage and also with a head and intelligence because they have players with this capacity.
“But our players also have a lot of experience and we know that 90 minutes here can be long. But we want to play this match not thinking about the first leg.
“We want to play tomorrow thinking to win, thinking to score, thinking to push, thinking to stop them. Thinking also tactically to be together.
“Thinking when we have space to attack the space. And also expecting the tactical tutor and also to work.
“We know tomorrow they are on the pitch and Insigne, Milik, Callejon, Zielinski, Fabian, Allan, they have tough players with the ability to push us and also to give us a lot of problems but we have the same players with capacity to fight against them with our quality and to be solid.
“Our mentality to prepare for the match are starting the game, defending when we need but attacking when we have the ball and space to do that.
“Our first idea is to win and after of course is to score. When you score in matches that aren’t a normal match, we can also take a good advantage with this goal but we know it is difficult because they can score one goal, they can score two goals, they have attacking players with this quality so we need to defend well but also use our attacking players.”
So will the Gunners stick or twist?
“Our mentality tomorrow is we play the match thinking to win. [It’s] 50-50, it’s no change for me because we played the first match at home,” explained the Spaniard.
“We won but if you did one question about the first leg when you’re playing at home, maybe we win, is the result normal, but also when you think we are playing here in Napoli, they can beat you and it is a big possibility because they are strong at home. It’s still 50/50, for me there is no change.
“My idea and my mentality is about this, but our target tomorrow is play to win.
“[Napoli are] a great club, a great president, great coaches here before and now. Ancelotti, three times Champions League winner.
“Very big players, their history is a big history, their present is doing something important like second in the league in Italy.
“Also, playing against us in the Europa League and every player in Arsenal, every player in Napoli, the Coach here in Napoli, myself also, in Arsenal we have our way.”