Valencia 2 Arsenal 4
Gameiro 11 Aubameyang 17 Laca 50 Gameiro 58 Auba 69 Auba 88
Chelsea 1 Eintracht Frankfurt 1
Loftus-Cheek 28 Jovic 49.
Arsenal won 7-3 on aggregate, Chelsea 4-3 on penalties
Aubameyang showed Wednesday night’s hero Lucas Moura that he’s not the only goalpoacher who can score a hat-trick away from home.
Moura got three goals in the Johann Cruyff Arena to knock out Ajax on Wednesday but last night Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was in electric form, perhaps galvanised by the red-hot atmosphere of the Mestalla, one of European football’s most inspiring cockpits.
Away games can be a bumpy ride in Europe, especially in a stadium like this.
Sure enough, veteran centre forward Kevin Gameiro snapped up a chance at the far post after Guedo broke down the left and found Rodrigo, whose low cross had deflected of the boot of Koscielny.
But when the busy Lacazette won a flick-on to his mate, Auba let the ball hit his body and bounce twice and then fired a phenomenal dipping shot just inside the post.
What a goal! And what a super-athletic predator : 29 goals in all competitions!
Emery has turned lazy Arsenal into fiery scrappers and when Auba won the ball back, Torreira found Lacazette in the box, where the Frenchman is so good at finding solutions. Here he managed to produce a fierce right shot that flew into the net for 1-2.
But then Gameiro got an untidy goal from close range to make it 2-2 on the night.
Then raiding right back Maitland-Niles produced a low cross to the near post and the explosive Auba pounced again to stab in from five yards at the near post.
So Unai Emery’s new scrappers had won 7-3 on aggregate.
The other Europa second leg at Stamford Bridge was 1-1 after extra-time and so that semi went to penalties.
Kepa saved two penalties and Eden Hazard converted Chelsea’s final spot-kick to send them into the Europa League Final.
Arsenal usually play Chelsea in London but beat them in Cardiff while the new Wembley was being built.