Valencia 2-4 Arsenal

Match Report
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a hat-trick as Arsenal beat Valencia 4-2 to seal a 7-3 aggregate win to reach the Europa League final.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a hat-trick as Arsenal beat Valencia 4-2 to seal a 7-3 aggregate win to reach the Europa League final.

Alexandre Lacazette was also on target for Unai Emery’s side who go through to their first European final for 13 years.

The Gunners, fifth in the Premier League, will qualify for next season’s Champions League with victory in the final in Baku later this month.

Kevin Gameiro scored twice for Valencia but couldn’t prevent a thumping defeat for the La Liga outfit, though they made a bright start at the Mestalla.

Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, Marcelino’s side took the lead after just 11 minutes.

A rapid counter-attack saw Valencia carry the ball from one end of the field to the other, with Rodrigo’s low cross converted by Gameiro from six yards.

Arsenal responded six minutes later with their first real chance of the game.

Lacazette’s flick-on fell perfectly for the onrushing Aubameyang, who controlled the ball on his chest before unleashing an unstoppable volley into the corner from 20 yards.

Shortly before half-time Aubameyang then turned provider by teeing up Lacazette, but his fizzing effort struck the post.

Lacazette wasn’t to be denied at the start of the second half, though, the Frenchman spinning away from two defenders on the edge of the box before sweeping into the corner to give the Gunners a 5-2 aggregate lead.

Gameiro fumbled home an equaliser from point-blank range after inadvertently blocking Rodrigo’s shot to level the scores on the night, but Aubameyang soon restored the Gunners’ lead with a brilliant near-post finish from Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ cross.

Aubameyang completed his hat-trick with two minutes left, running on to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s pass before firing into the roof of the net to send the Gunners through to the final in style.

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