Arsenal came away with a 3-1 win at home today, and you have to be so happy with that after the early scare we endured…
I made my fears clear upon reading the team sheet, with the exclusion of Torreira, and the INCLUSION of both Shkodran Mustafi, Mesut Ozil and Petr Cech, and I’m not sure those fears were wrong even after the win.
Our team needed to make a mark today and come away with a win of more than one goal, or a win of 1-0 (no away goals) could have been just as crucial, and while we did just that at the death, I still feel other players would have assured that with a little more comfort
Valencia set themselves out today to stop us, naming central defenders in all sorts of positions (including their goalscorer who played in a midfield role), but their makeshift selection came apart when it mattered.
We were behind early into the match, with a long corner being knocked back across goal to Diakhaby to nod in almost from the line. This goal gave us the fire to spur ourselves to propel us into a new gear, and before long the game was level.
Alexandre Lacazette is the name credited with the equaliser, but Aubameyang is the man who deserves the plaudits, drawing the defender and goalkeeper out into the open before finding Laca in space to put into an open net.
The Frenchman doubled his tally before the half-way mark with a weak header in all fairness, and the opposing goalkeeper will be kicking himself at his failure to guide the ball away from the line.
The second half was a little bit more even, with Gameiro crafting out a couple of chances, but our defence was surprisingly competent today (credit where it is due). After a number of scrappy chances, it took until the 90th minute for the only goal of the second half, when following a string of neat saves, a Kolasinac cross was lifted to the far post into Aubameyang, to power down into the floor and into the goal.
3-1 advantage to take to Spain, and you have to be confident of making the final now.
Can Valencia stop us from scoring in Spain? Is the final spot in the bag?