Mikel Arteta believes that former Arsenal boss Unai Emery is the most successful manager in the Europa League after the Gunners set up a clash against Emery's Villareal. The North London side are currently on a 12 match unbeaten run in the competition and face a tough fight against the La Liga side.
Arsenal beat Czech champions Slavia Prague 4-0 in the second leg to clinch a 5-1 win on aggregate which sent the London side into the semi-finals. Touted to be one of the biggest matches of Arsenal’s season, they produced an impressive performance with three quickfire goals in the span of six minutes enough to beat Slavia. They added a fourth in the second half and at the helm of it was none other than Alexandre Lacazette who captained the side to a comfortable win, scoring two goals in the process.
Although Arsenals’ domestic performance has not been up to the mark this season, winning the Europa League remains their only route to securing a Champions League spot. That is since they currently languish ninth on the table and it has seen Mikel Arteta feel the heat from critics for the team’s performance levels. This makes their semi-final clash against Villareal and former Arsenal boss Unai Emery even more important.
But despite that, in his post-match interview, Arteta admitted his admiration for Emery's unprecedented success in the Europa League and revealed what his side needs to improve in order to clinch the coveted trophy. He also added that they need to keep their confidence and the same form going into the semi-final clash as well as in the league.
"It will be really tough and Unai Emery is probably the most successful manager in this competition. There is still a lot to do and things we can improve on, but we have a real desire to improve and be better every day. We started really well in a convincing way, aggressive in our high press. We looked like a threat all the time. I really like the reaction of the team to the goal being disallowed. We scored some great goals, The clean sheet is important as well, the second one in two games," Arteta said, reported by Goal
"It helped the way we played against Sheffield United. The players were in high confidence, when performances are so high the collective improves. The boys were really at it from the start. It is a really important win in a crucial moment. We won in a convincing way, so credit to the players."