The Gunners finished fifth in the league table – just 1 point behind 4th placed Tottenham Hotspur while Man United were sixth in the table – five points adrift the final Champions League spot.
As for Man United, they were more or less prepared to play in the second tier of Europe but Arsenal, on the other hand, had a glimmer of hope until the very final day of the season.
Unai Emery’s side played in the Europa League final last season vs Chelsea and a win in that would have guaranteed automatic qualification to the UCL this time around.
But sadly this was not to be as the Blues thrashed their London rivals in Azerbaijan and hence both Arsenal and Man United will be playing Thursday night football during the 19-20 campaign.
And now speaking about the importance of playing in the UCL, Unai Emery has revealed that he was once mocked by former Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson for playing continuously in the Europa League(during his time with Sevilla).
“One day we were in Nyon for the coaches meeting and I was defending a lot the Europa League, and he – Ferguson – asked me, ‘But really Unai, do you not prefer to win the Champions League?’ Emery told Soccer AM(as reported by The Mirror) .
“Yes of course! He didn’t need to say it! But at that moment I can be happy and I can defend the Europa League because also I think the UEFA people improve a lot this competition.
“But really, really the first is the Champions League – okay.”
Emery won the trophy in three successive seasons between 2014 and 2016 when he was the manager at Sevilla and when he arrived at Arsenal, his first job was to take back the Gunners to the top tier of European football.
And while he has failed to do so right now but Man United too have had a real slump in form ever since Sir Alex left the club as the club have failed to keep pace with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
So back in the day, this might have been a hilarious moment for the Man United fans but as of now, their club is sailing in the same boat as Arsenal.