Unai Emery insists Arsenal's Europa League hopes '50/50' despite semi-final lead over Valencia
Last Updated: 03/05/19 8:59am
Unai Emery insisted Arsenal's Europa League semi-final with Valencia is still "50/50" despite taking a 3-1 first-leg lead.
Emery's side saw off his old club at the Emirates Stadium, exorcising some demons from last season's competition where, at the same stage, they missed a host of chances in a 1-1 with Atletico Madrid before ultimately losing out in the return leg.
But even with a two-goal advantage to take back to the Mestalla next Thursday, Emery refused to get ahead of himself in his quest for a fourth Europa League title as a manager.
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He said: "My plan for the second leg is is to make sure we continue to be very difficult to play against. It's 50/50. Maybe the second leg will be different, but I consider it to be 50/50 at the moment.
"We can be proud today. We can be proud of our supporters, and also proud of the players. It is not easy to come back against this team - it's not normal to come back.
"I am very proud of our work, but it will be very difficult over there."
Arsenal struggled to deal with Valencia in the early stages and were dealt an early blow when Mouctar Diakhaby netted what looked to be a priceless away goal 11 minutes in, only for Alexandre Lacazette to spark an ultimately impressive recovery from the hosts.
"It was different to how we expected it to be," explained Emery. "Marcelino normally plays with a 4-4-2. We found it hard to break them down, but it was a very good game."