Arsenal hosted La Liga outfit Valencia at the Emirates in the first-leg of their Europa League semi-final tie. The Gunners were struggling for form in the Premier League in recent times on their travels and were hoping that they could play some better football at home this time around and secure a place in the final of the competition.
With that being said, the game did not start well for the home side as they conceded an early goal through a corner-kick in the 11th minute of the match. It was Mouctar Diakhaby who jumped the tallest to beat Xhaka to the ball in the air and beat Cech, to head in the opening goal of the game.
However, the lead did not last long, as 7 minutes later, Lacazette made it 1-1 and in the 25th minute of the game, the Frenchman gave his side the lead. The two teams went into the break with the hosts now leading 2-1.
After the interval, it was rather slow, as there were no more goals till the hour mark. Lacazette had a few more good chances to add to his tally, though he failed to covert 3-4 more times. Finally, in the final minute of the game, it was Aubameyang, who eventually put the ball into the back of the net.
The match ended with a final score of 3-1 and here are the talking points of the game-
Early Defensive Error By Arsenal
As usual, the north London side was poor at the start of the game and conceded an early goal. They let in from a corner kick and it seemed that things were going to be no different for them, than what it had been in the recent weeks in the top flight of English football. They let in a goal in the 11th minute and it seemed that their poor away form had caught up with them at home as well.
Lacazette’s Brace Helps Gunners Recover
Just when Emery needed goals, it was Lacazette who came up with a couple of them in the first half. The first one was a composed finish after Aubameyang set him for a clear shot at goal, while the second one came from a powerful header, with the opposition keeper failing to deal with the shot at goal.
Eventually, Lacazette had more chances to add to his tally, though he was poor. Despite that, his two goals did make a huge difference in the match and helped Arsenal win.
Valencia Got Their Tactics Wrong
Marcelino García Toral’s team is an attack-minded side that was employed to play a defensive style of game, as they were struggling to cope with the Arsenal attack. That was surely not the right way for them as they failed to make any sort of impact on the match.
Knowing Arsenal’s weak defensive line and the errors that they make, a natural playing style that the Spanish giants generally adapt would have really done the job for them. It seems that the coach of the away side really missed a trick here.
Aubameyang Hands Arsenal The Real Advantage
The game did not seem put to bed till Aubameyang finally scored that third goal. A one goal cushion was never going to be enough, not just in the match but in the tie as well. There was a serious need for more goals and the former Dortmund man did once again deliver on the night. Great way to end the game on a high note.