Emery calls for focus ahead as Arsenal seek a comeback win

Arsenal FC v Manchester United - Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Unai Emery, Manager of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on March 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Arsenal boss Unai Emery is calling for focus as they prepare to launch a comeback against Rennes in the Europa League on Thursday.

The Gunners head into the return leg of their last-16 tie needing at least two goals unanswered to stand any chance of progressing to the next round after losing the first leg 3-1 in France last week.

Arsenal had got off to a strong start at Rennes and appeared on course for victory when Alex Iwobi put them ahead in the third-minute before Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ red card turned the tide of the game.

Rennes then went on to score three times to secure a memorable win for the French team, who will undoubtedly have high hopes coming to the Emirates Stadium this week.

But Emery, who won three successive Europa League titles at Sevilla, knows exactly what is required for Arsenal to overturn their deficit and book a spot in the quarter-finals.

“We need to [focus] on tomorrow and create a very emotional moment in 90 minutes with our supporters,” Emery said on Arsenal.com.

“We need to be clear in our minds in the 90 minutes, very fresh and very cool to take the best decisions.

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“I don’t think about [being favourites]. I only want to play the best possible match, doing all we can, with each player and the team.

“In the first game, they beat us and now we will want to show that here it can be different, but with a big respect to them and also knowing we need all the players with the focus and to control our emotions and control the different situations and scenarios that can come in the 90 minutes. This is our way and our match.

“[Rennes] are a good team in a good moment and they have quality with different players. They have spirit and fresh players playing offensively and they are organised defensively.

“They won against [Real] Betis over two matches with a big performance and against us, they showed also they have the possibility to win against us.

“But after this big respect to them we will try to push tomorrow, starting with our supporters and a big atmosphere helping us. With our gameplan and capacity, we can come back against them.”

The Arsenal and Rennes game will begin at 9:00 PM (CET).

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: Fans of Arsenal hold up their scarves in support during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on March 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)


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