Unai Emery insisted his Villarreal side are fully deserving of their place in the Europa League final after sending former side Arsenal crashing out of the competition. Emery lasted just 18 months at The Emirates after being tasked with the job of filling the void left by Arsene Wenger in 2018, dismissed by the club in November 2019. The Spaniard came back to haunt his former side in the Europa League semi-finals, however, with Villarreal clinching a 2-1 win in the first leg last week with a goalless draw in north London on Thursday sealing the tie. Villarreal will meet Manchester United in the final in Poland on 26 May.
Speaking post-match, Emery conceded Arsenal had the better chances to win the contest on the night but hailed a defiant performance from his side away from home.
‘I am very proud, we know the match was very important for us and Arsenal are a very good team, but we needed to do the work like we did tonight and in the first leg in Villarreal and I think we deserve it,’ Emery told BT Sport. ‘I think we made a very serious match, definitely with big performances and helping each other. ‘I think the first leg in Villarreal was very important for us and today I think we worked very well and defended very well as well.