Emery urges Arsenal to repeat 'personality' shown in Man United win
Unai Emery challenged Arsenal to show the "personality" they displayed against Manchester United for the rest of the season as they seek to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League. Arsenal moved above Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's resurgent United and into fourth place with a 2-0 victory at Emirates Stadium on March 10.
With third-place Tottenham only a point ahead of the Gunners and Chelsea sitting just three adrift of them in sixth, there could yet be plenty of twists and turns in the race to qualify for next season's Champions League. Emery is confident his team can book a place in the competition through the Premier League, rather than by winning the Europa League, in which they face Napoli in the quarter-finals.
Speaking after a 3-2 friendly win over Al-Nasr in Dubai on Tuesday, Emery said: "It's our objective [to make the top four] but we know that we have to wait. We are working and being competitive each match. "Now, in these next eight matches, we need to play with a lot of personality like we did against Manchester United. We know it's going to be difficult because we are surrounded by other big teams, but I think we are working very well and we are taking confidence to have chances in the last matches.
"Each match is our next objective and we think game by game. The next game is at home with our supporters against Newcastle United, so it's up to us to enjoy each match with the possibility of finding the three points. "Afterwards, the second way [of qualifying for the Champions League] is through the Europa League. We can play for one title and then also to take another way to reach the Champions League. We are in a good moment, in good confidence, and also in a good moment physically."
Ronnie Fernandez put Al-Nasr ahead in the 14th minute at Al-Maktoum Stadium, but goals from Carl Jenkinson, Alexandre Lacazette and Tyreece John-Jules saw the game swing in Arsenal's favour. Although Khalid Jalal scored a late penalty for Al-Nasr, Emery was pleased with the run-out and thinks it could prove important in the final stretch of the season.
"We are going step by step and also for us it is getting better. The adaptation for us first and for all the players in their work is getting better, and we are keeping confidence," added Emery. "The players are also showing they wish to do something important this year. The key is now, this break is key for the next month and we are focused for this last month."