LONDON : Arsenal may have beaten Valencia 3-1 in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday but both managers believe the tie is still very much up for grabs.
Alexandre Lacazette’s double and a late third from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang earned the hosts the advantage after Mouctar Diakhaby had given the Spanish side an early lead.
Arsenal coach Unai Emery was rather reserved about his side’s chances of reaching this month’s final in Baku ahead of the second leg at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium next week.
Nevertheless, Emery said he was looking forward to returning to the Mestalla, having led Valencia to third-place finishes in La Liga behind Barcelona and Real Madrid for three consecutive seasons from 2010 to 2012.
Marcelino seemed to feel that the scoreline on Thursday night flattered the home side somewhat.
But the Spaniard suggested that his side still have everything to play for.
Winning the Europa League looks like being the surest route for next season’s Champions League competition for both sides as they sit outside the qualifying spots in their domestic leagues.