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Mikel Arteta speaks on facing Unai Emery’s Villarreal in Europa league semi finals



Mikel Arteta speaks on facing Unai Emery's Villarreal in Europa league semi finals 1 Sportelo


Mikel Arteta is looking forwards to the challenge presented by former Arsenal manager Unai Emery’s Villarreal in the semi-finals of the Europa League.


Mikel Arteta took charge of Arsenal from Emery more than a year ago and will now take on his predecessor after his Arsenal side beat Slavia Prague 5-1 on aggregate in the Europa league quarter-finals.


More; Mikel Arteta gives his opinion when asked if Martin Odegaard is ‘too good’ for Arsenal


Mikel Arteta is an admirer of the former Paris Saint-Germain and Valencia manager, hailing the three-time champion as the ‘most successful’ manager in the Europa League history. ‘Yes it wil be really tough,’ Arteta told BT Sport.

‘Villarreal are a top team and Unai is probably the most successful manager in this competition. He totally deserves that. We know the opponent we are facing and now focus on Fulham. ‘We won’t have any time to train or anything, we just make sure the players recover and activate them so they’re ready to go again.’


Mikel Arteta was delighted and proud with his team’s performance on Thursday night, with Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka getting the goals.


‘We started really well in a convincing way, aggressive in our high press. We looked a threat all the time,’ Arteta added.


“I really like the reaction of the team to the [Emile Smith Rowe] goal being disallowed. We scored some great goals, The clean sheet is important as well, the second one in two games.


“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.


“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. It will be really tough and Unai Emery is probably the most successful manager in this competition.