Monday 14 October 2019

Ancelotti: Arsenal will be a different story

Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti. Photo: Reuters
Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti. Photo: Reuters

Sam Dean

Carlo Ancelotti, the Napoli manager, expects tonight's Europa League quarter-final to be a "totally different story" to the 10-2 humiliation he inflicted on Arsenal in Arsene Wenger's last Champions League game.

Ancelotti returns to the Emirates for the first time since his Bayern Munich side scored five times in each leg of their round-of-16 tie against Arsenal in 2017.

Arsenal's defeat was the worst suffered by an English team in the Champions League, and the last match that the Gunners played in Europe's premier competition.


Seven Arsenal players who featured in the second leg of that tie could play against Napoli tonight, but Ancelotti insists that Arsenal are a different proposition under Unai Emery.

"Each game is a different story, different clubs, different manager so it will be a totally different story," said Ancelotti.

"That game with Bayern is only a good memory.

"Unai Emery is a fantastic manager with a lot of knowledge.

"He has experience of this kind of game and the fact he is on the bench (for) Arsenal will (make it) more difficult for us."

The tie reunites Mesut Ozil with Ancelotti, who managed him at Real Madrid before his move to Arsenal in 2013.

Ancelotti has questioned Ozil's character in the past, saying that Angel Di Maria was better for "group dynamics", but yesterday he praised the Arsenal midfielder's "fantastic career".

Meanwhile, Emery has said that Arsenal "need to win" the home leg of the quarter-final amid their long-running struggles on the road.

Emery's side have won five away games in the league all season, and have lost the away legs of their past two Europa League ties.

"Tomorrow, we are going to play at home with our supporters and we know we need to win," Emery said.

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