Arsenal get down to work in Baku as Unai Emery’s men gear up for Europa League final with Chelsea
- Arsenal underwent their first training session in Baku on Sunday morning
- Unai Emery put his players through their paces at the Bakcell Arena
- The Gunners must beat Chelsea next week to secure Champions League football
Arsenal have undergone their first training session in Baku after arriving in the city five days prior to their Europa League final with London rivals Chelsea.
Unai Emery’s side take on the Blues in Azerbaijan at the Baku Olympic Stadium on Wednesday, needing victory to secure Champions League football next season.
And his men looked focused on the task at hand as they got to work at the Bakcell Arena on Sunday morning.
Sead Kolasinac (left) attempts to tackle Mesut Ozil during Arsenal’s training session on Sunday
Arsenal manager Unai Emery talks to his players prior to their first training session in Baku
Emery’s men must beat Chelsea to secure Champions League football next term
The Gunners head into the final under more pressure than Chelsea to deliver the Europa League for their fans.
Chelsea pipped Arsenal to a top-four Premier League spot to ensure their qualification for next season’s Champions League.
The Gunners’ only route into the Champions League is to win the Europa League, which would be their first European title since 1994.
Emery has hinted that some of his Arsenal players wanted to pick and choose their matches this season.
He said: ‘The first idea I had to transmit to the players this season was that we are going for it in every competition.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks on as Arsenal geared up for the Europa League final
Alexandre Lacazette (right) dribbles with the ball as Mohamed Elneny watches on
‘We know we are in the Europa League. We needed to feel its’ importance as a competition.
‘But when we stared to play the first matches, some players preferred to play in the Premier League
‘I explained then to every player that we needed the same focus on every competition – that I will decide when you are going to rest, or not.
‘What I didn’t want was a player thinking: ‘I won’t play today,’ and yet when we arrive at the semi-final or the final you say: ‘I’m here to play.’
Matteo Guendouzi controls the ball under pressure from Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira
‘No. I want you here. I want you ready to play – and you will be ready to play throughout this season.
‘Of course, some injuries can stop you from playing.
‘But the focus all the season is in this competition with a big focus and a big ambition to do something important. And to feel this competition like we want it.
‘The team has focused on this competition and is thinking about doing something important.’
Emery has a word with Laurent Koscielny at the end of Sunday’s training session