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Thursday, 21st March, 2019
 
 
 
 Nigeria   ::   News
 
 
Arsenal boss Unai Emery "excited" by prospect of winning Europa League
Mar 15, 2019
By: Amarachukwu Akaigwe

EUROPA CUP -  Arsenal boss Unai Emery insists winning the Europa League is more than just qualifying for the Champions League as he targets a trophy during his first season in charge.

The Gunners became the sixth and final Premier League club to qualify for the quarter-finals of this season’s continental competitions as they overturned a 3-1 first-leg deficit to beat Rennes on Thursday night.

A Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang brace and just a second Arsenal goal for Ainsley Maitland-Niles secured a 3-0 victory which sent Emery’s side through 4-3 on aggregate.

An all-English quarter-final against Chelsea is a possibility while Emery’s former club Valencia remain an option – as do Napoli, Villarreal, Slavia Prague, Benfica and Eintracht Frankfurt.

While success in the Europa League is seen by many as, first and foremost, a route back into the premier European club competition, Emery – who won the trophy three years in a row at Sevilla – knows it offers much more than that.

“The Champions League is very important but the Europa League grew up a lot and now is giving every team the possibility to play in the Champions League,” he said.

“In the domestic league, like here, we have six teams playing to be in the top four. Two teams are going out and the Europa League is giving us a big opportunity also to take one way to go to the Champions League.

“And also, it’s one title. I said to the players today, I am excited about this competition. It’s not just because you can get to the Champions League through this competition.

“It’s also because it’s one title and I think we can feel the possibility to win one title, doing this way with a difficult moment like today and playing also against big teams.

I am excited about this competition

“But I think we can feel this competition like in the Premier League, to do a good way and create, with our supporters, a big atmosphere and a big feeling together to do this way in the Premier League and also here in the Europa League. Together and stronger.”

Aubameyang celebrated his second goal, the third on the night, by donning a mask of Marvel superhero Black Panther.

In the past the striker has worn Batman and Spiderman masks to toast goals – but he explained why this time was a special moment.

“I needed a mask which represents me,” he told BT Sport.

“It’s the Black Panther and in Africa, in Gabon, we call the national team the Black Panthers of Gabon… It represents me.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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