Sunday, November 27, 2022

Arsenal survives Benfica scare to reach the last 16.

Arsenal are through to the last 16 of the Europa League after edging out Benfica 3-2 to win on a 4-3 aggregate, thanks to Pierre Emerick Aubameyang brace and Keiran Tierney goal.

Arsenal came to this match with an away goal advantage after a 1-1 draw before this game. This advantage was even doubled when Aubameyang scored the first goal in the 21st minute. However, this advantage was cut short on the 43rd minute by Diogo Goncalves equalizer.

Arsenal misery latter deepened in the second half when Rafa Silva scored to make it 1-2 for the visitors. Arsenal needed to score twice and ensure their counterpart don’t score to make it to the last 16.

Arteta was forced to make some changes to pile pressure for the visitors. Thomas Partey was brought in for Dani Ceballos while Emile Smith-Rowe paved way for Willian on the 63rd minute. This changes bore fruit as arsenal were able to score 4 minutes later through Kieran Tierney with an assist from incoming Willian.

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Arsenal needed to win to progress and Arteta made a sacrifice by substituting Hector Bellerin who paved way for Alexander Lacazette. Arsenal looked even more vulnerable until Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored from Bukayo Saka cross to make it 3-2 for the gunners.

Benfica piled pressure later on but the Gunners were able to withstand and in the end, get the result they needed handing Arteta a real lifeline. It is remembered arsenal were eliminated at the same stage last term by Olympiacos when Aubameyang missed a sitter, but Gunner’s captain proofed that he learned from his mistakes.

In the post-match interview, Aubameyang heaped praise on Bukayo Saka stating that the youngster is doing a good job and he is one of their best players, and he gave him a very good assist. Kieran Tierney who set the tone for the comeback by scoring the second goal said during the post-match interview that he didn’t care who will score the goal but arsenal needed that goal as quickly as possible.

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