Arsenal are through to the Europa League final after a 4-2 win over Valencia this evening gave us a 7-3 aggregate victory over the two legs.
Although we went behind early on, our two strikers stole the show. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his first hat-trick for the club, and Alexandre Lacazette bagged a crucial strike which basically put the game out of the home side’s reach.
An amazing night after such a disappointing few weeks, and we can now look forward to a final on May 29th against Chelsea who qualified via a penalty shoot-out in their semi-final.
Read the Valencia 2-4 Arsenal match report and see the goals here
Here’s how the players rated this afternoon.
The ratings are now hidden by default until you vote, but if you just want to view the ratings and the comments, flick the switch at the top above Petr Cech. Also, give the ratings a few seconds to load.
Auba had an uber game. 10/10 for me.
I’ll grab my coat, see you in Baku!
He ‘Lyft’ed our spirits after a tough few weeks
Very unarsenal away performance, I love it! Keep up the good job dudes, get that thropy in Baku and we’ll play UCL next season….well hopefully
Taxi for Duno
Hope you’ve set off already for Baku – it’s quite, er, hard to get to…. (Baku beyond, some might say, but I’m not going to stoop that low).
PS – SO looking forward to thumping Chelski.
Right, because you need to be on your way already if you want to get to Baku in time for the final! 😀
Bring on Chelsea
Finally a player rating I can look at without being disgusted. ..
But seriously what a performance, especially after that early goal. Reckon we will batter Chelsea in the final and bring home our first European trophy in ages! COYG!
I’m quite happy, but let’s not kid ourselves by saying this was a good performance. The individual brilliance of our strikers saved us. We still looked clueless and our defense crap as usual.
I don’t think your wrong, but save it for another day, today we celebrate!
In fairness Richard did admit to being happy
We controlled the game, we pressed, we were direct and we scored 4 goals away from home… come on man
We were panic stations until the first goal. Laca-bamayang were a sensation and did seem to get us out of a hole. Still they make up part of the wider collective. Hopefully Rambo back for the final for the mother of all swansong should help sure things up alongside Toreira
Yessss – didn’t think about the extra match if we made the final. Please god Unai give him at least some minutes on the pitch if he’s fit!
You couldn’t script a better send off for him – and remember what he did to the blue scum in the FA cup.
Absolutely spot on, thought xhaka was pretty lead footed all game, Ozil, I just don’t know anymore. But on we go.
We just dnt have yhe mid, Xhaka was something else. Hope Rambo will ne ready for the final
Xhaka sucks! We need a better playmaker; Someone like their Captain.. This guy lives in his own world, thinks he’s a great player.. and the audacity to take a FK from 45 yards and grounding it out of play..
OH COME ONNNNNNNN
Count the number of times he gave the ball away… A Playmaker should pass to the next player in his preferred foot and for the other player to take the ball in their stride.. he’s a big plank in the middle.. we’ll never dominate midfield with this guy playing there
he does though…
Garbage. Did you write that comment before the match? He had a very good match and cannot think of anything he did wrong apart from that poor free kick.
Mate – he wasn’t poor tonight and spread it around well. But he also gave it away through sloppy passing on at least 4 occasions. THat’s the frustration with him…
What game were your watching; Xhaka was abject!
When things looked as darkest, the African star rose in the firmament. What a match, Auba! Thank you!
No bonus rating?
Or rather… Good Aubaning
Gets me every time.
Can we go back to the old player ratings format next season please.
Manager Rating? After his questionable management in the PL in the last few games only fitting to give him an 8 tonight. Went bold with starting both forwards and as ever was barking away on the touchline, albeit with a bit of stick from the Valencia fans.
I’m wondering if our improved form in the Europa compared to the league is in part because emery knows European football so well but is still adapting to English football, either way, nobody can complain about the set up tonight
If I could give Frank more thumbs up, I would. For example, I think Emery did not fully appreciate the intensity of the EPL run-in and made a crucial mistake with the Palace team selection.
I’ve been calling for a manager rating for a while, it’s an important element
I do wonder what his hand signals mean, though. Do the players understand, or even notice? Is there a book where you can look them up?
If the players only had shown this in the last premier leauge games……frustrating
Ozil doesn’t really do that much does he? Maybe it was just the position he was playing but he was pretty anonymous today
For me he was totally invisible
He had a passing rate of 92% and worked hard and effectively in midfield. His link up play was great. So much of Ozil’s good work is not appreciated
What about the no of passes?
That says more about your ability to observe football, than it does about his actual performance.
Please stop insulting people who have different views on football from yourself, thank you!
I don’t mean it as an insult. I just think it’s true. Like, you’re literally failing to notice things that happen on the pitch right before your eyes. No doubt I miss things too, like aspects of defensive organization in our back line, the sort of stuff Lee Dixon loves to point out. But transition passing, breaking defensive lines, and moving the team from back to front are criminally under-noticed and under appreciated among football fans and it does my head in. It’s absolutely crucial to the game and it’s what Ozil excels in, but fans will declare him anonymous… Read more »
“But transition passing, breaking defensive lines, and moving the team from back to front are criminally under-noticed and under appreciated among football fans and it does my head in.” It’s not that they’re underrated, rather they’re considered absolutely standard for attacking mids. What then really sets the best from the the rest is either their end product and/or their defensive contribution. You’d expect more than ‘transition passing’ for £350k a week. People used to praise Ozil for assists, when those dried up they moved to big chances created. Now he’s starting to lag behind there as well so it’s things… Read more »
rather they’re considered absolutely standard for attacking mids. – as if it was either/or and not a scale. The current team tend to lose the ball too often and the fact is that Ozil has very high passing rate is indeed underrated. I agree he’s far from his best, but I can’t see how he could play well when players around him lose every second ball. That said, I though yesterday he was fairly anonymous. Anyway, what I wanted to say was that he ties a lot of opposition defence’s effort and attention, just focus sometimes on its own how… Read more »
The sooner we offload Ozil and Xhaka, the better for the team.
I thought he played pretty well — when you are the only real creative player on the pitch with acres to cover, it can diminish your impact a bit, but he still controlled the ball well, fed some nice passes forward, and tracked back to add an extra body on D when we needed it. Everyone was overshadowed by Auba today; really special performance from him. I don’t think it will happen, but I wish Emery would develop a system that would enable Ozil’s creative abilities to shine more in the match (with 2 strikers perhaps a 4-4-2 diamond, or… Read more »
“I don’t think it will happen, but I wish Emery would develop a system that would enable Ozil’s creative abilities to shine more in the match”
He’s already playing at 10, with two holding midfielders behind him and two class strikers in front, and bombing wingbacks either side. There’s nothing else Emery can do for him!
This is such a misguided statement it’s untrue, and perfectly illustrates the ignorance of so many fans. The system and style tonight (and one that Emery’s used a lot of late) is essentially designed to bypass the midfield completely. We sat deep, ceded the numerical advantage in central areas, and played the ball long to our split strikers (supported by speedy wing-backs) as much as possible. It’s not exactly Route One Stoke-style, but it’s not a million miles away (though obviously with better players). Fair play to Emery it was effective tonight, but it was never going to bring the… Read more »
“””Ozil’s style depends on quick combinations and intelligent movement–e.g. remember him playing his best when Cazorla was behind him, and his dynamic partnership with Sanchez (and to a lesser extent Ramsey)”””.
Ozil loves to play one-touch football, but sadly there are no one in the current team to complement him. It’s all about one-touch football moving forward at a high pace. But these days the players pass the ball backwards and sideways at walking pace and virtually creating nothing.
PFO … excellent and honest analysis.
My thoughts: if the gaffer’s style of play seems to not suit a certain player, then the player becomes more or less redundant. In this case, Ozil is quite redundant in this team and should be moved on in favor of a more useful player or a player with more productivity in line with the manager’s style. I think a player in midfield is probably required to be most dynamic and can easily switch to different styles of play to suit the team rather than the team changing its style to suit him.
Give him another midfielder with whom to work the ball rather than a wingback – Kolasinac makes the runs, but he’s not much of passer or controller of the football, and his own returns are often whipped-in balls rather than touches. In a 4-2-3-1, the wide players can move in and they can create more in the middle rather than Ozil having to head out wide to get anything going. He can remain more centrally, easier to find by his teammates, as he was in the 4231 AW days. Having Cazorla would help, too.
Well for starters, how about give him players comfortable on the ball in tight spaces to play quick combinations with, a la Alexis. And someone deep who will actually play line-splitting passes to him when he’s open in pockets of space, a la Cazorla, rather than just recycling it along the back five and hitting it long.
Wenger was asked what the difference was between Sanchez at United and Sanchez at Arsenal, he simply said Ozil.
I mostly agree with your point, but when one of them is Xhaka it’s a bit different. He mostly sort of saunters around. If the two midfielders behind you are, say, Arteta and Santi, controlling possession and linking play to you in advanced positions, you’ve got a much better chance. I think Torreira brings some of the same sort of qualities, but for me Xhaka makes life more difficult for midfielders in front of him with his lack of support, in possession, and defensive cover, without. Anyway, this is maybe not the time for this. A sublime performance from the… Read more »
I kinda disagree….let’s go back and check Ozil’s best seasons,you’ll notice he’s played better when he’s got runners or wingers…Ronaldo and Di Maria, Alexis and Walcott …. Its almost impossible for him to be at his best when his only options are to pass around himself….why do most teams have plenty wide players? Man City has 4( Sane,Raheem,Riyad, Bernardo….Liverpool has salah and mane…..my observation tho
We could switch to 4-2-3-1 but then you have to (a) break up the Laca-Auba partnership and (b) play one or both of Iwobi and Mkhytarian. Is it really worth doing that on the off chance that Ozil can play more 1-2s? We could perhaps play a diamond, but then people would complain that Ozil doesn’t have wingers to pass to, despite having two strikers in front. We could go out and buy a world class CM to sit behind him but (a) we’re talking about our current system, not our current squad and (b) that would help any decent… Read more »
Quite spot on! Though the other analysts are also not far from the truth. Even this season when Bellerin was available and was making those runs on the wing, ozil had impact on a few games he did play. I really think we need good and fast wingers like Sanchez, a better version of Walcott
I thought he played well. Off the ball hustle, showed for the out ball when we turned it over, critically protected it and played out some excellent passes to the front. This has to be his standard for all matches. He’s an excellent asset. Some people talking about him being sold but I find it hard to see it happen. Who will buy him? And pay the wages. We may as well try to get the best out of him. Who was a bit anonymous is Mhkitaryan, a player on the wane I struggle to find reason why Mslintat bothered… Read more »
Ozil needs creative ball carrier ball spreader technical player behind him in CM to play in tendem with him, like how cazorla used to do. That was when he was getting all the assists. We need 2 creative players cos he cant do it all alone. We have a creative slot in CM if we are playing a back 3.
I am not a big fan of Özil but this one’s true, mostly it was rather the fault of Xhaka-Torreira duo that he was not in play as much as we’d like him to. we had zero midfield in attack, and in a pretty big % in defence as well.
Excellent assist for the Lacazette goal, but otherwise yeah fraid so
I thought that was him losing his temper when subbed? Happy to hear if indeed I was wrong but if so then that’s bang out of order and a player clearly trying to force a move
Ease up on the tabloid narrative!
Õzil is a hate figure for Valencia fans, they don’t like Madrid or ex-Madrid players. He was whistled throughout and clearly heard some nasty stuff as he came off. Looked like Emery heard it too and was trying to tell him not to over-react
He’s an old pro – he was also acting disgruntled to mask his slow trudge off the park to buy us time. And got yellowed for it then still had the balls to shush the crowd – good on him!
Bit generous on AMN, he was terrible tonight. If sure if Mustafi had of produced the same performance he would have a 4
I thought he was terrible in the first half, quite good in the second.
Absolutely, Mustafi gets a 4 even if he did not play and was not responsible for goals conceded.
Remember he wasn’t playing when we got decimated by Wolves…that was our astounding pairing of Sokratis-Koscielny.
Today Monreal was not tight enough to Grameiro for the first. Second looked like a bit of luck on their part…plus we needed more control in midfield.
Mustafi should get zeros for some of his blunders mate. Even young AMN never made the shocking mistakes Mustafi does a few times per season.
Young player. Can be a little too casual but its also his asset. He never seems fazed and has tremendous recovery power.
One instance in first half it seemed he was too slack and let the winger get around him but then somehow stuck a foot out and won the ball back.
He was quite rusty early on, but his fantastic assist overshadows it all.
I thought – as I regularly do – that he was good going forward, but poor defensively.
Wish I had pulled the trigger on tickets and flights to the final months ago while I still could. COYG we own Chelski in finals
I hope so, I’ll be so stressed out that game.
On a night to remember and a stellar performance from our forward guys I cannot stop wondering whats wrong with Xhaka. He just doesn’t care anymore. He just is om the pitch, do some half decent passes when he gets the ball and thats it. He don’t deserve a place im the starting XI in Baku and frankly no place in this team next season
Another Xhaka hater W who is so biased that you will never give him any credit. He had an excellent match and apart from a bad free kick performed admirably. His passing range is great but you refuse to see it. Has a great partnership with Torreira and I look forward to seeing him for many more gears
Years or tears?
Happily see him fir years to come.
Playing for someone else.
His passing range is great… until it isn’t. That’s why he’s so frustrating to watch – can pick a killer pass 4 times in a row and then just gives it away sloppily and just switches off, leaving our defs to clean up the mess. WHich they sadly too often fail to do!
He has his faults but Torreira isn’t the solid player some prefer to imagine either…he has his own shortcomings. We lack a player who can control the ball and bring it up field. Valencia have Kongdogbia who could be very interesting for our squad, a bit of Viera, Diaby and Santi mixed together. The right character next to Granit will unleash the Swiss player’s better talents. That accurate quick release from Xhaka if put to good use can find our strikers quicker but they must also present themselves better for “the srevice”…no point complaining about it, make it happen like… Read more »
For sure. HIs concentration levels is questionable…also fails to track runners into the box.
Its vexing. But he can yet improve.
He’s a strange one. Has a good passing range, but lacks spider sense. He never knows when theres danger or where to be!
Did he really have an excellent match?, I don’t think so, game passed him by, same with ozil, need athletes.
When we had Flamini and Arteta, we longed for a tough midfielder like Xhaka, a rock the opponents feared. Who would you like? Torreira was run over several times Thursday. Guendozi takes too much risk. Xhaka will be instrumental in our victory in the final. He will ruin their midfield play.
Xhaka aint’ no rock mate… watch footage of Pat, Parlour, Gilberto, even Micky Thomas if you want rocks…. Too often he cries foul when dispossessed instead chasing it down and winning it back. Too often people go through him and he just doesn’t bother. Too often they run past him off the ball and he completely fails to track.
I thought he was OK.
I didn’t think Torreira had that much say in the game either. One bad foul to concede a free kick right on edge of the box.
Midfield is what it is. We do not have the complete player.
This sort of game, we really need someone who can bully and win the ball back but also control and take it up the middle of the park by feet.
Great game by everyone especially our strikers, just wish the whole team could have had that level of intensity and effort in at least one of the last five league matches .
Still issues defending…and not Mustafi either…again….bc he wasn’t in the back 3 and we still leaked 2 goals.
Fortunately our strikers had a kick up their arse (finally) and were sharper today.
Auba + Laca = World Class
Maitland + Niles = Maitland Niles, = PANIC! At the Disco
AMN never panics.
He is TOO cool.
Its both his weakness and his asset.
Fly all the way to Baku just to play Chelsea? I know its the Europa League final but this is madness.
8,000 KM round trip. 1.5 Tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere for every single person who travels.
Couldn’t we rearrange the final to Wembley, now the Spuds have buggered off to the toilet?
Hopefully Spurts put out too much against Ajax and tanks against Everton.
We need to win ours by a handsome margin…8 goal swing.
Highly unlikely but it would make for a very fabled St Totteringhams.
I’d love it but I imagine it’ll be a reserve team v Burnley, giving Nketiah the opportunity to show if he can handle it it yet, plus all the Academy players who have largely just warmed the bench on occasions along with Lichtsteiner, Jenks, Elneny, Mavro.
PL can’t really complain as result doesn’t really affect either team or those around them in the league.
Lacazette’s goal–the control, the little touch to move it away, then the strike, all in a small space–was at the very highest level of skill. A goal that would be a highlight for Cruyff, Bergkamp, or Messi.
He created his own chance and goal.
You don’t need to wait for service if you are ‘world class’, you make your own.
Also liked the fact Auba moved toward the ball for once for his second and reaped benefit. He has been guilty of waiting for ‘that service” to be played to him rather than being proactive.
Lowkey the best goal I thought.
Auba scored spectacular one-touch goals, but Laca’s had a higher degree of difficulty because he had to fight and dribble for that extra yard of space
Auba and ozil both did goo work to set the opportunity up but Alex still had work to do which he did withbaplomb
Excellent result, some dodgy moments, but overall a performance that we can take into the final with some pride.
Excited for the final, I was quite impressed when asked on btsport if we had a preference, the response was essentially “we don’t care”. The right mentality to have in my opinion.
Hopefully we can take the goal scoring to the league for our final game of the season, hope spurs loose and take a heavy defeat to dent their goal difference and snatch 4th (perhaps wishful thinking)
I hope so too but definitely wishful thinking.
Wishful thinking, but although desperate, you should definately lay a game plan for it to happen.
That moment when Rodrigo looked like he was fearing for his life following the late, cynical foul on Sokratis was glorious. That is exactly what we want from our CBs.
Glad I’m not the only one to see it. That finger wag made me wee a bit
You do wonder where we’d be without our two strikers but, in Ramsey’s absence, they’re really carrying the team now. Fantastic performance from both of them to end a pretty weird mid-week of games. Hopefully they can repeat this performance in Baku!
That extra “!” at the end of mustafi’s rating
Where in the league would we be without Auba and Laca? Top 10??
Emery fucking loves the Europa
If you were Auba or Laca, wouldn’t you ask the club for significant investment, otherwise you’re off…
Yeah! Absolutely. They deserve a great midfield with players capable of both winning the ball and going forward and a good defence to rely upon.
Ratchet up the pressure on the owner.
Plus if we can win the europa, lessen his excuse not to spend in the summer.
Too caught up today in nerves and didn’t see entire match but have to say we kept our nerves despite shaky start and very iffy moments until Auba’s first goal. 1) Cech – Did Alright for me. Some very dangerous shots at goal today thankfully many were just shy of target. I don’t think his reflexes or speed is as they were (which is why he is retiring from the scene) 2) AMN – Sometimes too casual and you think he has been passed by the winger but then manages to recover. HIs casualness is also his strength though. Superb… Read more »
Just watched highlights again…rating Mhkitaryan much higher.
Thought he was anonymous but he was the one who provided the nice assist for Auba’s third.
And that was the only thing he did do… jogged around and hardly made a tackle, watching his team mates who had been running their bollocks off for 70 minutes, carry on running their bollocks off. Needs a good smack on the back of the head, that lad does!
Well done Santa – you managed to work Mustuffup into your diatribe FOUR times before your even got to his ‘rating’… and he wasn’t even in the starting line-up.
However you let yourself down with no Iwobi plug though.
Mhik my only gripe in the ratings – he spared his blushes with that assist but jogged around and hardly put in a tackle before that. If he was taller and had some dreds I’d thought it was Iwobi on.
Ozil 92% passing accuracy important in a match we needed to retain the ball as much as possible just saying.
Agreed (for once Santa!). We shouldn’t underestimate just how extremely valuable Ozil was tonight just by doing the simple, unflappable things he can do so well. He ran more than I’ve ever seen him do for starters – but his linking from def midfield countless times, stopping and holding it up when there wasn’t an option, rather than trying to force the killer pass like Xhak so often does. They couldn’t get the ball off him and it served as a huge frustration when they were chasing the game.
If only the players had played like this in the last 4 leauge games…..frustrating
Lets not understate how well Lacazette did winning the header for Aubas first. And well done Auba for the great finish even afta the Valencia fucker tried to swipe his ankles.
Of course Abu stole the show.But the defence in the opening 20min
were easily ripped apart. Chelsea being an epl team know the
gunner defence inside out.
The gunner attack really unsettled the Valencia defence with Abu
tormenting the defenders with his mazy run.
I am confident our attack can score against Chelsea.Hazard is their
main threat and like Messi can be shackled but so can Abu.
We must have plan B in case our main attackers are rendered
impotent by Chelsea.
It is definately possible to beat Chelsea, and quite comfortably at that. But with Hazard coming in from the wing, our right defenders will be challenged. Mustafi is hopeless on positioning, Ainsly was dribbled dizzy Thursday, but is a quick learner.
Aubamazangs and Lacazanians… there’ve been some pearlers on here. But I didn’t realise Diaby had made a miraculous recovery?
Start Miki over Ozil in the final! He can get around the pitch a bit better, have him hound Jorginho. Other than that, keep the lineup as is. Hopefully Kolasinac is back for the final, as frustrating as he can be, he’s the best we have at lwb…my first European final as an (american:/) arsenal fan! Couldn’t be more stoked for the chance to end the season on a high! Calling out of work that Wednesday to watch with my chelski supporting mate, so COYG!!!
Perhaps you should start watching cricket….
That’s the kind of auba we want. Deadly. We hace what chelsea doesnt. Strikers who can score! I can see them playing hazard up front against us in a false 9 position. Carry on with this formation and team selection, no mustafi in defence.
Although…Giroud is joint top scorer in Europa.
After 15 comments from santoribot, I was just thinking to myself what do we need next? Of course, a 16th!!
Speak for yourself, you come across as a really arrogant man
Magnificent finish for auba’s first goal
Another 0.5 in addition for Kos for how he came over and got Gabriel to calm the %#*£ down. Still clearly bossing matters.
Now please let’s replicate that in the final.
The pressure is all on us.
Chelsea are already in the Champions League so they might be able to relax a bit more than us.
We need to finish the season on a high and winning this competition is the only way we can do it now, although I would love us to absolutely batter Burnley and Spurs lose to Everton (come on Theo).
Replicate against Burnley…we need at least 6 goals.
Lacazette is a god damned god, aubamayang is a god damned god! They are both god damned gods. One can only hope we spend a bit of money to put some people in defensive and playmaking roles to balance it all out and we got a team there.
They are for sure not gods. They are brilliant yes, but there is only 1 God.
…. and that’s why we have wars to decide exactly whose imaginary friend is the right one.
Electrical gunners. keep it up
…that BT sport commentary ?
So we now have an unscheduled extra match. A match that might just provide the Tinkerbelliest of fairytale endings. Just picture this lads… A steamy, fraught night in Baku… Hazard takes a dive in the box in first half injury time and converts the pen himself (because he’s that special kind of twat). 1-0 to the blue scum. Arse up things in second period – Laca hits the bar and, just 4 mins later, Auba blazes at the one top corner but that unsubstitutable knob of a Chelski keeper is having a blinder and palms it over the top. 12… Read more »