Saka 8/10, Auba 7/10 as Arsenal rally late to maintain their European League desires alive

Arsenal‘s Europa League journey continues following a dramatic late 3-2 win in opposition to Benfica in Athens within the final 32 of the competitors.

The Gunners had regarded to have been the architects of their very own downfall, with two errors costing them dearly and giving Benfica the benefit going into the closing levels. Nonetheless, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka mixed within the 87th minute to make sure the Gunners’ dream lives on.

Arsenal had been in management within the first half and led the tie 2-1 on combination. Aubameyang and Saka had began brightly and the 2 linked up for Aubameyang to open the scoring, the skipper breaking Benfica’s excessive line to elevate the ball into the web. Each gamers had different probabilities to attain however simply as Arsenal appeared to be in management, Benfica earned a free kick that Diogo Goncalves completed with aplomb.

Within the second half, Rafa Silva seized a poor headed again cross from Dani Ceballos to place Benfica forward on the evening, and on combination. Arsenal although didn’t stop, Kieran Tierney pulling the Gunners’ stage with a shocking low drive following neat work from Willian on 67 minutes, earlier than Aubameyang popped up with the late decider.

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Mikel Arteta can have been delighted with the best way his aspect battled again into the sport after having gone 2-1 down. They confirmed nice spirit to tug themselves stage, notably as they’d regarded so fragile at the beginning of the second half. Saka was the brilliant spark within the last third.


Arsenal made errors that would have knocked them out of the competitors. Ceballos was responsible of two howlers tonight, nevertheless it’s a case of Groundhog Day for the Londoners.

Supervisor ranking out of 10

5 — Questions can be requested of Arteta’s beginning line-up, with Hector Bellerin picked forward of Cedric Soares and Thomas Partey left on the bench. Emile Smith-Rowe regarded misplaced on the left, too. The introduction of Willian did result in an equaliser, however Arsenal regarded disjointed all through. He acquired away with this one…

Participant scores (1-10; 10 = greatest. Gamers launched after 70 minutes get no ranking)

GK Bernd Leno, 5 — In his 100th look for the membership, Leno had little to do till he picked the ball out of the again of the web following Goncalves gorgeous free kick. He may little in regards to the second too after Bellerin’s careless again cross left him in no man’s land.

DF Hector Bellerin, 4 — Bellerin was indecisive on the ball at instances, which most likely left Gunners followers questioning why he’d began forward of Cedric. It meant that Saka did not see the ball on the right-hand aspect as a lot as he most likely ought to have.

DF Kieran Tierney, 6 — The Scot acquired ahead every so often and his equaliser gave Arsenal hope of a late rally. Tierney gave himself a yard to shoot contained in the field and his low, left-footed drive was unstoppable.

DF Gabriel Magalhaes, 5 — Not Gabriel’s best night in an Arsenal shirt. Along with David Luiz, they lacked confidence as a duo and there have been typically holes left for Benfica to use.

DF David Luiz, 5 — The Brazilian defender regarded edgy all through. Benfica had been poor within the last third however got far too many probabilities.

MF Granit Xhaka, 5 — He did not do loads fallacious however he appeared to gradual play down when in possession. There’s one thing in regards to the Xhaka-Ceballos axis in midfield that simply did not work.

MF Dani Ceballos, 3 — The Spaniard had an terrible night. It was from his lunge on the sting of the world, when he caught out his leg fairly than shifting his ft to get throughout his man, that Benfica earned a free kick and pulled themselves again into the tie. Then, within the second half, his failed headed again cross allowed Silva to present Benfica the lead.

MF Martin Odegaard, 5 — Managed possession nicely at instances and barely gave the ball away. Nonetheless, he was responsible of being too conservative within the last third and occupied the identical pockets of area that Saka was seeking to utilise.

FW Emile Smith-Rowe, 5 — Linked up nicely with Saka within the last third at instances, although he wasn’t at all times on the identical wavelength when it got here to the ultimate ball. Utilised on the left as an alternative of IN the No.10 position, he did not appear to have the ability to influence the sport as a lot from extensive.

FW Bukyo Saka, 8 — Began on the proper and regarded harmful. He was influential within the opening aim, when he minimize in from the proper and performed a exact ball means of to Aubameyang for his 17th help with the membership. His 18th led to the winner, Saka once more discovering Aubameyang, this time with a wonderfully whipped in cross.

FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 7 — The skipper opened the scoring together with his 30th aim in European competitions with a neat end. He performed on the shoulder of the final defender, narrowly beat the offside lure with a wonderfully timed run, and dinked the ball house. He thought he’d bagged a second after the break in related style, nevertheless it was adjudged to be offside. Nonetheless, he made up for it with minutes left on the clock when he netted a dramatic winner to maintain Arsenal’s European dream alive.


MF Willian, 6 — The Brazilian made an instantaneous influence when he broke free on the left after which handed to Tierney, who pulled Arsenal stage. Within the midst of a tricky season, he actually made a constructive distinction right here.

MF Thomas Partey, 60 — It may be no coincidence that when he got here on to the pitch, Arsenal regarded higher. Ought to have began the sport.

FW Alexandre Lacazette, N/R — The Frenchman gave Arsenal a bit extra of an attacking edge when he got here on.

DF Callum Chambers, N/R — Chambers was introduced on to regular the ship within the closing levels.

MF Mohamed Elneny, N/R — Had little time to impress however performed his half as Arsenal ran down the clock.

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