Unai Emery says he is proud after a “difficult week” which has seen Arsenal beat Manchester …


Arsenal beat Rennes 3-0 (agg 4-3) in the Europa League on Thursday

Last Updated: 14/03/19 11:47pm

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery was pleased with how his side have performed over the last week

Unai Emery says he is proud after a “difficult week” which has seen Arsenal beat Manchester United and come back against Rennes to make the Europa League quarter-finals.

Following a 2-0 win against Manchester United in the Premier League, Arsenal were tasked with beating Rennes at the Emirates on Thursday after losing 3-1 in the Europa League last-16 first leg a week ago.

They tackled it well as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice with Ainsley Maitland-Niles also contributing to beat the Ligue 1 side 3-0 and sealing a 4-3 aggregate victory in the tie.

Emery said: “We can be proud of our supporters and players today because it has been a very difficult week. We played Manchester United on Sunday and today against Rennes after we were away in the first leg.

“I think today we played very consistently over 90 minutes, being competitive without the ball and very serious defensively. I missed more control with the ball, more possession but they used a lot of players in attacking third and give us a lot of positivity to attack the space against them and run more in the transition.

“It is not all like we wanted with the control, but I think as a competitive match, we did very well.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates the opener against Rennes at the Emirates

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates the opener against Rennes at the Emirates

“It has given us a big confidence on Sunday against Manchester United and today, the same I think with this performance and victory. This comeback was very difficult but I think our reaction is very good.

“Playing under pressure is good. Playing under pressure and growing up under pressure, each player, as a team, they feel difficult moments to give us our best performance. For us, today and Sunday, we are aware of playing competitively and I think it is good confidence for us to feel that.”

Arsenal remain one of the favourites to win the Europa League – a competition Emery has won three times as a manager – and he reiterated that it would not be an easy task.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles celebrates scoring against Rennes with  Aubameyang

Ainsley Maitland-Niles celebrates scoring against Rennes with Aubameyang

He added: “These two matches have given us a very difficult way. This competition today, for example, Inter are out and Sevilla are out. The last teams, they are very important teams and it is going to very difficult.

“But we are going to think the same either before this match or on Sunday against Manchester United – the next match is the most important for us and the competition is the same. We are going to play after 15 days against Newcastle in the Premier League and we are going to prepare for these matches [treating] it as the most important.

“The Europa League is giving us a big opportunity to take one way towards the Champions League. There is one title. I said to the players today, it is exciting in the competition, but it is not only exciting to get to the Champions League in this competition, it is also because it is one title.

Aubameyang dons a mask to celebrate his second goal against Rennes

Aubameyang dons a mask to celebrate his second goal against Rennes

“I think we can feel the positivity to win one title, doing [it] this way with difficult moments like today and playing against big teams.

“We can feel this competition, like in Premier League, that we are doing a good way and created a big atmosphere with our supporters, and a big feeling together to do this way in the Premier League and the Europa League.”

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