Unai Emery Admits Top-Four Finish Will Be Very Difficult for Arsenal Following Leicester Defeat

​Unai Emery has suggested that Arsenal's focus has now switched to achieving success in the Europa League, after Sunday's 3-0 loss to Leicester City saw the Gunners miss out on moving back into the top four.

Arsenal found themselves unable to cope with Leicester's energy, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles' red card late in the first half ensured they were in for a challenging afternoon. 

Youri Tielemans headed the Foxes ahead shortly after the break, ​before two late goals from Jamie Vardy ensured Arsenal remained fifth in the Premier League.

​Speaking after the game, Emery admitted qualifying for the ​Champions League will be a tough ask for ​Arsenal.

He said: “We are going to think about Valencia in the Europa League. We have a big ambition in this competition. It’s a semi-final and it’s going to be difficult also. Then we play on Sunday against ​Brighton, and we need to win this match.

“At the beginning of the season we knew it was going to be very difficult, and today it’s the same. Our confidence can go up, can go down. But the most important is to be clear in our minds and our way. Our way is to think of this semi-final and prepare for the match in the best possible way.”

Emery also discussed Maitland-Niles' red card, insisting that that was a turning point in the game.

He added: “We started very well, we controlled the match with good positioning and defensively with not many problems. They controlled the possession but we were good on the pitch and we wanted to grow up in 90 minutes to take our possibility to win today, being competitive in 90 minutes and also being strong in our mentality. 

“The second yellow card gave us a lot of problems to continue with our game plan with more efficiency. Continuing our idea with one player less was going to be difficult. It changed a lot, this red card. 


“The players worked very well and I’m proud of them. With one player less, we continued our game plan, trying to be together, defensively strong, and in the attacking moments to take our moments. The first goal has conditioned the result. When we were better on the pitch with one player less, they had a counter-attack and scored the second one and finished the match.”

Source : 90min