Monreal eyeing Europa League glory with Arsenal despite landing 'worst' draw

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The Gunners are chasing down continental glory once more, although their cause has not been helped by a couple of lengthy trips to Eastern Europe

Nacho Monreal claims Arsenal have landed “the worst teams” in their Europa League draw, but is still convinced that continental glory can be secured.

The Gunners, who reached the semi-final stage of the competition last season before coming unstuck against Atletico Madrid, are back in the hunt for major silverware.

A positive opening has been enjoyed to their European endeavours, with Vorskla Poltava swept aside 4-2 at Emirates Stadium in their first group stage outing.

Unai Emery’s side do, however, have a return date in Ukraine to come this term, while they are currently taking in a 5,000-mile round trip to Baku after also being paired with Qarabag.

Monreal said of the challenges facing Arsenal on the road: "These were the worst teams in the draw, we have two long trips to Azerbaijan and Ukraine.

“But it is not an excuse not to go there, play a good game, good football and get the three points.”

Having fallen agonisingly short in the 2017-18 Europa League, Monreal is determined to go a few steps further this year.

He sees no reason why Arsenal cannot get back on the trophy trail, while also chasing down a route into Champions League competition through their efforts in the Premier League.

The Spanish defender added: “We missed a really good opportunity to win the Europa League.

“We would have qualified automatically for the Champions League and that was our target.

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“This season, we start from the beginning of the competition, so we are going to try to qualify again for the Champions League through the Premier League, but we know we have the option to win the Europa League and qualify there.

“It is a good competition. We want to play, we want to fight until the end. Why not win the Europa League?”

After returning from Azerbaijan, Arsenal will head into the next international break on the back of a domestic derby date with Fulham on Sunday.