Hatem Ben Arfa reveals why he laughed at Unai Emery last night

Date published: Friday 8th March 2019 7:55 - Matthew Briggs

Hatem Ben Arfa TEAMtalk

Hatem Ben Arfa has claimed he spent part of Thursday night’s Europa League clash with Arsenal laughing at the new Gunners boss Unai Emery.

The Rennes star, on his 32nd birthday, played a “solid match” against his former boss as the French outfit took a handy 3-1 lead to The Emirates for the second leg of their Europa round of 16 game.

Former Newcastle playmaker Ben Arfa had a strained relationship with Emery while the two were together at Paris Saint-Germain with Ben Arfa never becoming a regular under the Spaniard.

In fact in the pair’s second season together in 2017/18 Ben Arfa failed to make a first-team appearance all season and eventually left last summer for Rennes, while Emery moved to London.

And only last month Ben Arfa has filed a £7million loss of earnings lawsuit against his former club after he was frozen out of the first team for 15 months by the French champions.

Last night Ben Arfa came up against Emery for the first time since they left PSG and despite claiming revenge was no driving him on, he admitted to laughing at the Gunners chief.

“My motivation was to play a solid match, to win and get ourselves into a good position to go through,” said Ben Arfa. “That’s what was in my head.

Unai Emery

“But I did see the same Emery, as agitated as ever. I looked over at him a few times and that made me laugh a little. He hasn’t changed.

“I told some friends before the match that my prediction was that we would win 3-1 or 4-1. We didn’t manage to get the fourth but my prediction was right.”

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