Thursday 23 May 2019

'We will go on the attack,' insists Emery

Arsenal manager Unai Emery answers questions at a press conference at the San Paolo Stadium, Naples. Photo: Steven Paston/PA Wire
Arsenal manager Unai Emery answers questions at a press conference at the San Paolo Stadium, Naples. Photo: Steven Paston/PA Wire

Sam Dean

Unai Emery has vowed to go on the attack in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final as Arsenal look to prevent a Napoli resurgence in Italy.

Napoli will need to score four times in their San Paolo Stadium if Emery's side, who won 2-0 in last week's first leg, are able to break through the Italian team's defence.

An away goal would also go some way towards silencing the raucous atmosphere in Naples, where Carlo Ancelotti's side defeated Liverpool earlier this season.

"We know 90 minutes here can be long, but we want to play this match not thinking about the first leg," Emery said.

"We want to play tomorrow thinking to win, thinking to score, thinking to push, thinking to stop them. Thinking also tactically to be together and thinking when we have the space, to attack the space.

"They have a lot of players with a big quality to push against us and give us a lot of problems but we also have the players to fight against them."

Arsenal ended their miserable run of away form with a gritty victory over 10-man Watford on Monday night.

They will need to maintain that momentum tonight and prevent a repeat of their away-leg defeats by BATE Borisov and Rennes in the Europa League this season.

Ancelotti has demanded "courage, intelligence and heart" from his players.

Asked if Arsenal can match the home side's emotional energy, defender Sokratis said: "I don't know but I know my team. I know that we are a team who play very good football. Every game we fight for the best, from the beginning of the season we have improved a lot."

The return of Sokratis, who missed the victory over Watford through suspension, is a timely boost for Emery given Arsenal's defensive difficulties away from home this season.

The Greek centre-back has grown into one of Arsenal's most impressive performers in his first season since joining the club from Borussia Dortmund.

"I think the adaptation at first is important and not easy," Emery said of Sokratis.

"It's different for different players. We spoke about that with him in pre-season. The matches are different in England.

"He took the big performances to help us like he is now. We are very happy with him and this is a big match, so we need players with experience. He is one of those players."

Napoli v Arsenal Live, VM Sport/BT Sport 2, 8.0

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