Arsenal managed to beat Napoli 2-0 in the first leg of the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday courtesy goals from Aaron Ramsey and an own-goal from Koulibaly.
The two goals were more than enough for the Gunners to secure an easy win but there was one problem which was pretty evident towards the dying minutes of the match.
A number of Arsenal players ended the match with cramps – possibly due to playing too much football during the past couple of weeks.
And this is an advantage that Carlo Ancelotti wants to exploit to the fullest during the second leg next week.
The Napoli boss has claimed that his players are physically better than their Arsenal counterparts and that they can win progress to the next round.
“I think that the second half was completely different,” Ancelotti said.
“We pushed 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.”
But Unai Emery has come out to respond claiming his players were more than ok.
“I think we’re OK,” he said.
“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.”
Unai Emery is surely putting up a bold face going into the second leg but the reality is that Arsenal will face Watford just three days before they head Naples and this could very easily be a turning point.