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Arteta aware of Emery threat for Arsenal’s Europa League reunion

Mikel Arteta, Unai Emery, Arsenal
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Arteta will next face his Arsenal predecessor Emery after guiding the Gunners to the Europa League semi-finals.

Unai Emery is ‘the most successful manager’ in the Europa League and his Villarreal side will be tough to beat, says Mikel Arteta.

The Spaniard will lock horns with the man he replaced at the Emirates on April 29 after leading Arsenal to the Europa League semi-finals upon eliminating Slavia Prague in the quarter-finals.

“It will be really tough and Unai Emery is probably the most successful manager in this competition,” Arteta told BT Sport.

“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.

Arsenal progressed past the quarter-finals convincingly by storming to a 4-0 second-leg victory to clinch a 5-1 aggregate win.

Alexandre Lacazette’s double, along with first-half goals from Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka, completed the routing in Prague despite Emile Smith Rowe’s disallowed early opening goal.

“We started really well in a convincing way, aggressive in our high press,” said Gunners boss Arteta.

“We looked 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.

“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.”