Despite conceding that Arsenal were deserved winners of their Europa League quarter-final tie against Napoli, Carlo Ancelotti has stated that the Gunners do not play 'fantastic football'.
The clash on Thursday night saw a battle between two of the most successful managers in European cup history, when Ancelotti and Unai Emery went head to head at the San Paolo Stadium.
Across a distinguished career that has seen him manage some of the biggest clubs Europe has to offer, Ancelotti has tasted Champions League glory three times - twice with Milan and once with Real Madrid - making him the most successful manager in the competition's history alongside Zinedine Zidane and Bob Paisley.
Whilst Emery cannot list any Champions League trophies on his resume, he himself is a record holder in the Europa League, having won the tournament three times in a row with Sevilla, between 2014 and 2016.
However, despite Ancelotti's managerial pedigree, Emery came out on top after following up a dominant 2-0 win at the Emirates with a hard fought 1-0 victory on Thursday night. The only goal of the night came courtesy of an Alexandre Lacazette free kick, as Arsenal held on for an away clean sheet for only the sixth time this season.
💬 "I am proud of the players, the club, the supporters, of our situation now with the possibility in the Europa League semi-final and in the Premier League to fight for third and fourth, to play next year in the Champions League."— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 20, 2019
👔 @UnaiEmery_ speaks ahead of #ARSCRY...
Speaking in the aftermath of Napoli's elimination from the tournament, Football.London have quoted Ancelotti's opinions on where it went wrong for his side.
"I think the key to qualification was the first 20 minutes in the away match, that's when we played really badly," he said.
"The two games were really balanced, there wasn't that much of a difference as the result suggests."
With a claim that's sure to rankle a few fans of a club who have historically been renowned for their free-flowing, attacking football; Ancelotti went on to commend the gunners on their organisational skills, before having a subtle dig at their style of play.
"I think Arsenal is an intelligent team, they are really well organised offensively and defensively. It's not a team that plays in my opinion fantastic football, but they play intelligently and they deserved victory."
With Juventus having already wrapped up their 35th Serie A title, and Napoli having been eliminated from the Coppa Italia, Ancelotti's men will be aiming to finish the season strongly by securing second place in the league.