Emery explains the importance of the Europa League
- Arsenal are through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League for the second year in a row.
- The manager sees the second-tier competition as a way of qualifying for the Champions League and a potential title.
- He admits the club will need the help of the supporters.
In his post-match press conference, Unai Emery dwelled on the significance of the Europa League as a competition. The Spaniard believes the competition has grown a lot in the last few years and now the quality on display in the tournament is a lot higher.
"Champions League is very important but the Europa League grew up a lot and now is giving every team the possibility to play in the Champions League.
"In the domestic league, like here, we have six teams playing to be in the top four. Two teams are going out and the Europa League is giving us a big opportunity also to take one way to go to the Champions League."
The head coach also admitted that he sees the tournament as a real possibility of achieving silverware this season. Considering Arsenal went out of both domestic cup competitions quite early and are only in fourth place in the Premier League, the Europa League is the club's last hope of a trophy this year.
"And also, it's one title. I said to the players today, I am excited about this competition. It’s not just because you can get to the Champions League through this competition.
"It's also because it's one title and I think we can feel the possibility to win one title, doing this way with a difficult moment like today and playing also against big teams."
However, in order to win the second-tier European competition, Arsenal the Gunners will need the help of their fans to create a fantastic atmosphere at the Emirates, just as they did against Manchester United on the weekend and Rennes.
"But I think we can feel this competition like in the Premier League, to do a good way and create, with our supporters, a big atmosphere and a big feeling together to do this way in the Premier League and also here in the Europa League."