Few know the pressure that Mikel Arteta faces in the Arsenal dugout better than Unai Emery.
Arteta’s compatriot was once in charge at the Emirates Stadium, only lasting a year-and-a-half in north London before getting the sack. Written off by large sections of the British media, Emery went on to achieve great things back in Spain and has also made wonderful progress since returning to the Premier League with Aston Villa.
However, Arteta, who succeeded Emery as Arsenal’s permanent manager, has been creating his own revolution with the Gunners as they continue to fly high under his guidance. Arteta’s meetings with Emery may not have been plentiful, but they have been significant.
Here is the complete head-to-head record between the two Spanish coaches.
Emery’s first meeting with Arteta came during his successful stint at Villarreal, with the Spanish side playing host to Arsenal in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final in the 2020/21 season.
In front of an empty La Ceramica, Manu Trigueros gave Villarreal an early lead after just five minutes, with Raul Albiol doubling the hosts’ advantage from a corner before half-time.
Despite Dani Ceballos’ red card for the Gunners, Arteta’s men fought their way back into the game through Nicolas Pepe’s penalty. Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Etienne Capoue was then given his marching orders, but Arsenal couldn’t find a much-needed equaliser.
Despite Pepe’s penalty having given Arsenal hope of making it to the Europa League final, dreams of a first European trophy for Arteta were dashed at the Emirates in the second leg.
In a game of few chances as Villarreal’s defence held firm in north London, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came closest when he struck the post with a volley.
However, the Gunners couldn’t find a breakthrough that would have sent them to the final in Gdansk on away goals, with their Spanish opponents progressing to the showpiece event instead.
Emery would meet another English opponent, Manchester United, in the final, a game his Villarreal side won on penalties.
The first Premier League meeting between Arteta and Emery came at Villa Park during the 2022/23 season, with Arsenal looking to maintain their place at the top of the league table amid their title battle with Manchester City.
Despite falling behind twice, two stoppage-time strikes eventually gave the Gunners all three points in a dramatic affair in the Midlands.
Jorginho’s long-range effort rebounded off former Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to give the visitors the lead after 93 minutes, with Gabriel Martinelli putting the ball in an empty net for a fourth after Martinez had ventured forward for a corner kick.
Mikel Arteta vs Unai Emery H2H record
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