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Gameiro ready to torment Arsenal in Emery reunion

Kevin Gameiro

Bengaluru, May 2: Kevin Gameiro had has knocked Arsenal out of one Europa League semifinal and now he wants to do it again.

Gameiro helped Atletico Madrid end Arsene Wenger's hopes of a glorious finale last season, a 2-1 aggregate win sending them through to the final, where they would sail past Marseille.

Twelve months on, it is Unai Emery in charge of Arsenal and Gameiro leading the line for Valencia who, like their opponents, may well need to win the Europa League to play in the Champions League next term.

"It's going to be a different game to last year, they've a new coach and he has brought his own style to the Arsenal team," said Gameiro.

"We'll have to be aware of all their strengths and weaknesses because they play a fast game, control the ball and have players who can break quickly. It'll need us to give everything to win," he added.

And, if Gameiro knows Arsenal, he knows Emery too, having played under the Spaniard at Sevilla.

"We haven't kept in touch, but I saw Unai again when Atletico played a friendly against Arsenal in Singapore and it'll be nice to see him again," Gameiro said.

"He's a great motivator. In these big games and big moments, he knows how to get the best out of his players. He has won this competition three times, he knows how it works. But we both want to be in this final."

This season, Gameiro has scored six goals since the turn of the year after managing only two before it, a trajectory similar to his team, who have recovered well from a painfully slow start.

After 12 games, Valencia had managed only two La Liga victories and sat 15th in the table but a second-half surge has seen them move to within three points of the top four.

With a Copa del Rey final against Barcelona still to come next month, Valencia are fighting on three fronts for what could be a spectacular end to the season.

Ramsey ruled out

Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has been ruled out the semifinal and is also set to miss the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury that also ends an 11-year career at the London club, Emery confirmed.

The 28-year-old, whose Arsenal contract expires next month, is set to join Italian side Juventus after signing a four-year agreement with the Serie A champions in February.

Wales international Ramsey, Arsenal's longest-serving current player, sustained the injury in the Europa League quarterfinal victory at Napoli last month.

"It was a good experience to work with every player and with him especially, because he can transmit his energy and he showed me his heart is red with Arsenal," Emery told reporters in the pre-match press conference.

(With inputs from Agencies)

Kick off

Arsenal vs Valencia at Emirates Stadium

Friday, May 3, 12.30am IST


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Story first published: Thursday, May 2, 2019, 14:12 [IST]
Other articles published on May 2, 2019
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