Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has warned that an away goal in the second leg of their Europa League tie with Napoli might not be enough to advance to the semi-finals.
With Arsenal having won last week’s first leg at the Emirates 2-0, a goal for Emery’s side at the San Paolo Stadium on Thursday would leave Napoli needing four to win the tie.
Arsenal have been heavily reliant on their home form to reach the last eight, recovering from first-leg defeats at BATE Borisov and Rennes with strong second-leg performances at the Emirates, while Napoli are yet to lose at home in Europe this season.
“Our mentality is to think, to prepare for the match, starting the game defending when we need to, but attacking when we have the ball and we have space to do that,” Emery said on Wednesday.
“Our first target is to win, and after, of course if we score, when you score playing matches like tomorrow’s match, we can take a good advantage maybe with this goal.
“But we know it’s going to be very difficult because they can score one goal, two goals. They can score more goals because they have a lot of attacking players with this quality.”
Defeat at Arsenal capped a three-game winless streak in all competitions for Napoli, but they bounced back with a 3-1 victory at Chievo on Sunday to strengthen their grip on second place in Serie A.
Napoli’s only home defeat this season has come against Serie A leaders Juventus, and manager Carlo Ancelotti has warned that Napoli will be “brilliant” on Thursday.
“We are waiting, from them, for their best performance,” Emery said.
“Their best capacity here, with their supporters, their stadium, their atmosphere, their quality, their skills and also their capacity tactically.
“But I think we are ready for tomorrow.”