Alexandre Lacazette scored twice as Arsenal came from behind at Emirates Stadium to win the first leg of their Europa League semi-final against Valencia....
Alexandre Lacazette celebrating

Alexandre Lacazette scored twice as Arsenal came from behind at Emirates Stadium to win the first leg of their Europa League semi-final against Valencia.

Mouctar Diakhaby’s header put Valencia in front before Lacazette slotted in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s pass.

The Frenchman nodded in Granit Xhaka’s cross seven minutes later to make it 2-1 before half-time.

And Aubameyang’s late volley ensured Arsenal take a two-goal lead to Spain.

Lacazette should have scored a hat-trick – he fluffed a header from six yards out in the second half and was later denied by goalkeeper Neto on two occasions.

But Arsenal will travel to Valencia for the second leg next Thursday, hoping to avoid a second successive semi-final defeat after they were knocked out by eventual winners Atletico Madrid last year.

Late goal calms the nerves

Arsenal started sloppily in London and Ezequiel Garay’s miss from a few yards out was an early warning.

They looked rattled, and when Rodrigo was allowed to head the ball back across goal to set up Diakhaby for the opener, things did not look good for the Gunners.

A loose header from Ainsley Maitland-Niles was almost pounced upon by Goncalo Guedes immediately afterwards but Lacazette’s swift equaliser – which came against the run of play – helped settle the nerves.

He started the move – providing the through ball for Aubameyang before the Gabonese striker cut it back into the middle and Lacazette fired into an empty net.

The Frenchman was clinical again eight minutes later – powerfully nodding in Xhaka’s curling cross at the back post – before Aubameyang’s volley bounced off the turf and over the bar.

Valencia still caused Arsenal problems though. Rodrigo and Guedes were pests in attack and Petr Cech was called into action to deny Kevin Gameiro from close range in the second half.

Arsenal were wasteful, too – Lacazette missing two glorious chances before Aubameyang eventually made it 3-1 with a well-timed volley at the back post.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 1Cech
  • 20Mustafi
  • 5Papastathopoulos
  • 6KoscielnySubstituted forMonrealat 82′minutes
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 29GuendouziSubstituted forTorreiraat 58′minutes
  • 34Xhaka
  • 31Kolasinac
  • 10ÖzilSubstituted forMkhitaryanat 75′minutes
  • 9Lacazette
  • 14Aubameyang

Substitutes

  • 4Elneny
  • 7Mkhitaryan
  • 11Torreira
  • 17Iwobi
  • 18Monreal
  • 19Leno
  • 49Nketiah

Valencia

  • 13Murara Neto
  • 21Piccini
  • 5Gabriel
  • 24Garay
  • 4Roncaglia
  • 14Gayá
  • 8SolerSubstituted forWassat 71′minutes
  • 12DiakhabyBooked at 31mins
  • 10ParejoBooked at 70mins
  • 19RodrigoSubstituted forMina Lorenzoat 88′minutes
  • 7Gonçalo GuedesSubstituted forGameiroat 71′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Doménech
  • 9Gameiro
  • 15Latorre Grueso
  • 18Wass
  • 20Torres
  • 22Mina Lorenzo
  • 23Sobrino
Referee:Clément Turpin

 

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamValencia
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home15
Away10
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home17
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Arsenal 3, Valencia 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Arsenal 3, Valencia 1.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by José Gayá.

Foul by Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal).

Daniel Parejo (Valencia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Arsenal 3, Valencia 1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sead Kolasinac with a cross.

Attempt saved. Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt blocked. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sead Kolasinac.

Substitution

Substitution, Valencia. Santi Mina replaces Rodrigo Moreno.

Attempt missed. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Nacho Monreal replaces Laurent Koscielny.

Attempt missed. Kevin Gameiro (Valencia) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Daniel Wass following a set piece situation.

Foul by Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal).

Cristiano Piccini (Valencia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Gabriel (Valencia) because of an injury.

Foul by Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal).

Gabriel (Valencia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Gabriel.

Lucas Torreira (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Daniel Wass (Valencia).

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Henrikh Mkhitaryan replaces Mesut Özil.

Offside, Valencia. Daniel Wass tries a through ball, but Mouctar Diakhaby is caught offside.

Foul by Granit Xhaka (Arsenal).

Daniel Parejo (Valencia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Valencia. Conceded by Petr Cech.

Attempt saved. Kevin Gameiro (Valencia) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Parejo with a through ball.

Substitution

Substitution, Valencia. Daniel Wass replaces Carlos Soler.

Substitution

Substitution, Valencia. Kevin Gameiro replaces Gonçalo Guedes.

Booking

Daniel Parejo (Valencia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Daniel Parejo (Valencia).

Corner, Valencia. Conceded by Shkodran Mustafi.

Foul by Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal).

Daniel Parejo (Valencia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal).

Neto (Valencia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by José Gayá.

Attempt blocked. Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) left footed shot from very close range is blocked.

Attempt saved. Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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