Emery Hails Gunners’ Strikeforce

Emery Hails Gunners’ Strikeforce

Arsenal’s Unai Emery hailed his strikeforce as his side beat Valencia 4-2 to set up a Europa League final with London rivals Chelsea.

Having led Valencia 3-1 from the first leg, the Gunners were favourites to advance and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s hat-trick eased them into the showpiece, securing a 4-2 win on the night and a 7-3 aggregate success.

Alexandre Lacazette also got his name on the scoresheet to ensure the pair have scored all of Arsenal’s last eight goals in this tournament between them – with a total of 48 strikes shared across the campaign. In a week of comebacks by English sides in the Champions League, Aubameyang’s goals made sure Arsenal were not on the receiving end of another at the Mestella.

Despite falling behind to Kevin Gameiro’s 11th-minute effort, the visitors rallied as Aubameyang equalised and Lacazette struck to put them ahead on the night and in control of the tie.


Related: UEL Preview: Valencia Vs Arsenal


Gameiro, who was part of Emery’s Sevilla side which won three successive Europa League titles, continued his fine scoring run in the competition with another – only for Aubameyang to add gloss to the scoreline with two more efforts. “I am proud of them,” Emery replied when asked about the impact of Aubameyang and Lacazette. “Big players can be good strikers but when their commitment is like today, defensively also, to work to help us, it is amazing. “Each match is different and I think today we showed everybody our character, and also our capacity to be together and struggle in some moments defensively, but also having good moments in attack. “Against Valencia, not one team this year has scored four goals against them.

Only one time, against Atletico Madrid, have they conceded three goals and we did that last week. It’s a very good team, a difficult team, and today we showed we can do that.” Both Arsenal and Chelsea will receive 6,000 tickets for the final in Baku’s Olympic Stadium – which has an official capacity of 68,700.

Arsenal put out a statement to supporters soon after the final whistle insisting they are working with UEFA to gain a larger percentage of seats to add to the “disappointing ticket allocation”.

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