ARSENAL fans are kissing goodbye to the Europa League after being paired with Napoli at the quarter-final stage. The Gunners will host the Serie A
ARSENAL fans are kissing goodbye to the Europa League after being paired with Napoli at the quarter-final stage.
The Gunners will host the Serie A giants at The Emirates Stadium on April 11 with the return leg schedule for a week later at the Stadio San Paulo.
Uefa switched the games after Chelsea were drawn to play the home leg of their clash with Slavia Prague on the same night – with the FA Cup winners given preferential treatment due to finishing higher in the Premier League last season.
Both London clubs have been kept apart in the draw and cannot meet until the final in Baku on May 29.
While Chelsea could face Benfica or Eintracht Franfurt in the last four, Arsenal have been lined up to face the winner of the all-Spanish tie between Villarreal and Valencia.
But few followers of the club truly believe they will get that far.
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Twitter user Sir Isaac Cheruiyot wrote: “Dear Europa thanks for the memories, its time to say goodbye.”
Another fan Jamie added: “Well, it’s been fun but it has to end eventually.”
Though victory in Europe’s second tier club competition provides a route into next season’s Champions League, their best chance of securing passage might now be through the Premier League.
Arsenal are currently fourth, two points ahead of fifth place Manchester United.
Some supporters are more positive over Arsenal’s prospects and feel a meeting with Napoli is a reflection of the strength of the competition.
Coach Udofia Ukpong said: “To be champions, you have to beat the best.
“We underrated the last knockout stage and almost did not qualify if not for the second leg of real zeal and fight.
“Let’s play this like its a final and qualify big.”
Headline Squad stated: “We got the hardest side but going forward it will be easy to reach finals.
“Spanish teams ain’t non to Arsenal!!!
“Well Final will be the London derby in Baku!!!!”
Issuing a rallying call ahead of the game, Kris said: “Come on lads. Need another massive performance. We can do this.”