Unai Emery has hit back at Carlo Ancelotti after the Napoli manager claimed that Arsenal players’ lack of fitness would give his side major encouragement ahead of next week’s Europa League quarter final second log.
The Gunners will head to Naples with a 2-0 win from the first leg.
Former Chelsea manager Ancelotti, meanwhile, noted several Arsenal players struggling during the latter stages and hopes the draining Premier League schedule could count against Emery’s side.
He said: “I think that the second half was completely different. The fact we push a lot at the end and we were physically a lot better as some of their players had cramps. This is another thing that we can use in Naples”
Emery dismissed Ancelotti’s pointed dig during his own post-match press conference.
He said: “I think we’re OK. The players finished tired because they worked a lot. But I prefer to finish like that and not finish matches with the possibility to continue playing. I know, and the players also, that we need every player to be ready to play and help. On Monday, I am sure we are going to play different players but [try] to find the same performance. ‘Some players after playing with this demanding performance physically, maybe we need something different. Next week it will be the same in Naples.
“We’re going to prepare for Monday first, and also recover the players after the game today thinking that we are going to play a lot of matches [every] three days. We need every player with the commitment, with the behaviour and the performances.”