Europa League: Emery returns to Mestalla: A history of heartbreak
Europa League Will visit his former home with Arsenal
Just as he did in 2013/14, Unai Emery will return to Mestalla to take on Valencia in search of a place in the Europa League final.
Last time it was Sevilla who came with him, and this time it’s his Arsenal side who will be taking on Valencia, hoping to set up a date with Chelsea or Eintracht Frankfurt in the final.
Emery was the longest-serving Los Che boss since Alfredo Di Stefano and during 2008 and 2012 he performed well in the job. In his first season he finished sixth, and then followed that up with three consecutive third-place finishes.
But it wasn’t enough for the club and they chose not to renew his contract, opting to part ways with him then.
“Maybe I lacked the icing of a title, but I’m happy with the work we put in over the four years,” said Emery.
“We did more than I expected. I had many difficulties but a lot more joys.”
But there will be no love lost when Emery returns to Mestalla as he burned a lot of bridges in the 2013/14 visit with the manner in which he celebrated a late Stephane Mbia goal for Sevilla. Emery celebrated crazily, and it didn’t sit well.
For Valencia, this was a painful defeat; arguably their most since losing to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, and their former boss was seen to be rubbing it in their faces.