Unai Emery has said that his history with Arsenal is ‘less important’ than the challenge of leading Villarreal to their first ever European competition final as both sides face each other in the Europa League semi-finals.
The Spaniard also revealed how his team intends to beat Arsenal and progress to the final.
Emery, a former Arsenal boss, will come up against his old side in the Europa League semi-finals as Villarreal secured a 3-1 aggregate win over Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday.
Villarreal have made it to the semi-finals four times failing to progress any further on each of those occasions.
Emery was the manager that replaced legendary Arsene Wenger in north London in 2018 and led them to the Europa League final in his first season in charge.
He was, however, sacked just 18 months on from his arrival.
“Breaking the barrier of the semi-finals is the great challenge,” Emery told reporters after the game.
“The idea of reaching the Champions League through the Europa League is very important.
“When I signed here this was one more process. My past at Arsenal is less important.”
Speaking on the challenge presented by the English side, Emery said, “We want to continue to play our way, always respecting our rival and not speculate on anything.
“We need to play to win and go into the match with the same sincerity that we’re currently showing.
“Play the same way and don’t give them chances.”
Arsenal head to Spain for the first leg of their tie on Thursday 29 April, with Emery set to return to the Emirates with the Yellow Submarines the following week.
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