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.

Ratings

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.

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Duno
Duno

Auba had an uber game. 10/10 for me.
I’ll grab my coat, see you in Baku!

Fuckspurs

He ‘Lyft’ed our spirits after a tough few weeks

GoonerJust
GoonerJust

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

Tcfcfc
Tcfcfc

Taxi for Duno

dpro
dpro

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.

Igorski

Right, because you need to be on your way already if you want to get to Baku in time for the final! 😀

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

Bring on Chelsea

TazzyBalboa
TazzyBalboa

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!

Richard
Richard

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.

goonero
goonero

I don’t think your wrong, but save it for another day, today we celebrate!

Gunnerboreus
Gunnerboreus

In fairness Richard did admit to being happy

Frank
Frank

We controlled the game, we pressed, we were direct and we scored 4 goals away from home… come on man

Non flying dutchman
Non flying dutchman

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

goonshow
goonshow

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.

Soreeyes
Soreeyes

Absolutely spot on, thought xhaka was pretty lead footed all game, Ozil, I just don’t know anymore. But on we go.

Dekayz
Dekayz

We just dnt have yhe mid, Xhaka was something else. Hope Rambo will ne ready for the final

Nameless_Gooner
Nameless_Gooner

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..

Keeping it Monreal
Keeping it Monreal

OH COME ONNNNNNNN

Nameless_Gooner
Nameless_Gooner

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

Richard
Richard

he does though…

Martin
Martin

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.

goonshow
goonshow

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…

Uba Ngenegno
Uba Ngenegno

What game were your watching; Xhaka was abject!

jon

When things looked as darkest, the African star rose in the firmament. What a match, Auba! Thank you!

Ach
Ach

No bonus rating?

BidOnLard
BidOnLard

Good ebening!

goonshow
goonshow

Or rather… Good Aubaning

Norn Iron Gooner

Gets me every time.

Ex-Priest Tobin
Ex-Priest Tobin

Can we go back to the old player ratings format next season please.

Nick Prowse
Nick Prowse

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.

Frank
Frank

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

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

This….

The Far Post
The Far Post

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.

Hantal
Hantal

I’ve been calling for a manager rating for a while, it’s an important element

jon

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?

Henrik
Henrik

If the players only had shown this in the last premier leauge games……frustrating

Jack
Jack

Ozil doesn’t really do that much does he? Maybe it was just the position he was playing but he was pretty anonymous today

A.B
A.B

For me he was totally invisible

Martin
Martin

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

Nameless_Gooner
Nameless_Gooner

What about the no of passes?

PFo
PFo

That says more about your ability to observe football, than it does about his actual performance.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Please stop insulting people who have different views on football from yourself, thank you!

PFo
PFo

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 when he’s done that job well.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

“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 that even Hleb was pretty handy at. It’s nonsense. For the record I don’t think he’s even playing that badly per se, but it’s nothing to write home about and he’s far from his best.

asda
asda

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 other teams approach defending against him, and also how they approach him compared to other midfield players.

Uba Ngenegno
Uba Ngenegno

The sooner we offload Ozil and Xhaka, the better for the team.

Futsboller
Futsboller

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 a 4-2-1-3) next season.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

“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”

What.

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!

PFo
PFo

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 best out of Ozil. I though in the circumstances he did very, very well with the ball when it did come his way but he was effectively feeding on scraps (thus the lower than average player rating and charge of “fading” from Blogs is a bit galling). I lost track of the number of times he was available for a deeper player to play the “low-to-high midfield” through ball to him, only for that player to play it sideways or backwards or long.

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)–but without Rambo, Micki, or Iwobi on the field, he’s got no one close enough and skilled enough to play those quick combinations that break the defensive lines. Yes, the problem in peak Wenger era was the opposite–too many creative types, no one to sit behind him and offer defensive cover, and no top quality mobile strikers ahead of him–but Emery’s gone to the other extreme, at least in this 3-5-2: two strikers, lots of defenders that are average with the ball, and no one to combine with. Two wrongs don’t make a right, as it were. There’s a way to get the balance right and support Ozil’s strengths better, but Emery’s tactics tonight (and for much of the season) are not doing it.

Now, whether that’s ultimately good for the team or not, time will tell. This isn’t an attack on Emery. Just think that people complaining that Ozil was “totally invisible” after that game are saying more about their own football-observing abilities than Ozil’s performance.

Beautiful Football
Beautiful Football

Spot on.

“””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.

Futsboller
Futsboller

PFO … excellent and honest analysis.

Toni
Toni

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.

Futsboller
Futsboller

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.

PFo
PFo

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.

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

Wenger was asked what the difference was between Sanchez at United and Sanchez at Arsenal, he simply said Ozil.

Jack
Jack

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 front men and we’re going to the final, and hopefully the Champions League, in which case Emery will have the financial muscle to really start building the team in his image.

Louqmane
Louqmane

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

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

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 player do better, not just Ozil!

Personally, at this point I’m kind of past caring about his individual performances (which have been OK tbf) and I’m far more concerned with how Arsenal play as a whole, with or without him. But the list of excuses people have for him, and how torn they are between saying he’s playing excellently and saying he needs a,b,c to do better, is rather amusing considering he’s meant to be a star player that can lift the team.

Mr seb

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

Santori
Santori

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 other than easy low hanging fruit. We should have bought Mahrez instead.

He won’t be too pricey for another team to take on (say in Italy) so maybe we can move him on instead.

Young Smith Rowe should come in to understudy the AM position.

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

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.

Gabor
Gabor

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.

Non flying dutchman
Non flying dutchman

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

kaius
kaius

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

goonshow
goonshow

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!

Mesut O'Neill
Mesut O'Neill

Bit generous on AMN, he was terrible tonight. If sure if Mustafi had of produced the same performance he would have a 4

A Different George
A Different George

I thought he was terrible in the first half, quite good in the second.

Santori
Santori

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.

Der32
Der32

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.

Santori
Santori

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.

jon

He was quite rusty early on, but his fantastic assist overshadows it all.

Tapps

I thought – as I regularly do – that he was good going forward, but poor defensively.

Cacho
Cacho

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

Scwibble
Scwibble

I hope so, I’ll be so stressed out that game.

UpNorth
UpNorth

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

Martin
Martin

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

Martin
Martin

Years

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

Years or tears?

Clockendrider
Clockendrider

Happily see him fir years to come.
Playing for someone else.

goonshow
goonshow

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!

Santori
Santori

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 Auba finally did today for the second and Laca manufacturing his own time and space for his goal.

In that sense, Granit remains an important asset but how to negate his negatives and take advantage of his merits is the issue.

Santori
Santori

For sure. HIs concentration levels is questionable…also fails to track runners into the box.

Its vexing. But he can yet improve.

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

He’s a strange one. Has a good passing range, but lacks spider sense. He never knows when theres danger or where to be!

Soreeyes
Soreeyes

Did he really have an excellent match?, I don’t think so, game passed him by, same with ozil, need athletes.

jon

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.

goonshow
goonshow

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.

Too often.

Santori
Santori

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.

Mark
Mark

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 .

Santori
Santori

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.

Thierry Eboue
Thierry Eboue

Auba + Laca = World Class

Maitland + Niles = Maitland Niles, = PANIC! At the Disco

Santori
Santori

AMN never panics.

He is TOO cool.

Its both his weakness and his asset.

onenil
onenil

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?

Santori
Santori

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.

GraeB
GraeB

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.

A Different George
A Different George

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.

Santori
Santori

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.

kaius
kaius

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

Non flying dutchman
Non flying dutchman

Auba and ozil both did goo work to set the opportunity up but Alex still had work to do which he did withbaplomb

Anthony
Anthony

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)

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

I hope so too but definitely wishful thinking.

jon

Wishful thinking, but although desperate, you should definately lay a game plan for it to happen.

Maniac

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.

Hantal
Hantal

Glad I’m not the only one to see it. That finger wag made me wee a bit

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

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!

Kabu
Kabu

That extra “!” at the end of mustafi’s rating

Coopindubz
Coopindubz

Where in the league would we be without Auba and Laca? Top 10??

Frank
Frank

Emery fucking loves the Europa

Coopindubz
Coopindubz

If you were Auba or Laca, wouldn’t you ask the club for significant investment, otherwise you’re off…

Henrik
Henrik

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.

Santori
Santori

Ratchet up the pressure on the owner.

Plus if we can win the europa, lessen his excuse not to spend in the summer.

Santori
Santori

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 run to set up Auba for his second. Regardless of left or right side fullback IS his natural position now. Good power running down the flanks.

3) Sokratis – Some good blocks and clearances. Maybe could have got tighter for the first. As I said, we don’t need Mustafi to leak goals nor were we totally secure in back 3 but I think a back 4 would have been really detrimental.

4) Koscielny – Decent effort by the stalwart. I don’t think we should persist with him one more season. he looks like he’s on last legs. Hope we can win it for both Cech and him (Let alone Ramsey, Welbeck also leaving us)

5) Monreal – A bit culpable for the first goal against us. Should have been aware of Grameiro and been tighter. Imagine if he was Mustafi.

6) Kolasinac – The back 3 unleashes our wing backs better and allows them to hunt higher up field plus some good competitive spells on the left bringing the ball into the attack. But counters to the space left behind by both our flanks remains a concern.

7) Granit – Which brings me to midfield. Nominally this is the unit that must be more cognisant of the counter from flanks. We were bossed out of midfield too much today. Granit did OK but we lack a midfielder that can really control the ball for us and bring it up field

8) Torreira – Not that midfielder either. Some snappy challneges (one conceded a free kick in dangerous area…imagine if that was Mustafi or Granit). Some decent hustling as per usual but we really need someone who can carry the ball from deep.

9) Ozil – Worked hard today. Plenty of off ball movement and critically kept the ball for us. So important when we turn the ball over we don’t lose it immediately and return the impetus to their attack. Ozil found space and kept the ball well today

10) Laca – Excellent work as usual. Won the header against Gabriel for the first Auba goal. I believe he provided the return ball for the second. The understanding of these two so crucial to our success and we need to really build on this partnership. Laca is 27yrs and he can get better yet. BUT an outstanding goal today, manufacturing his own chance on the turn… as I said if you are truly world class, you make your own ‘service’.

11) Auba – MOTM for me. Must have stung him on the weekend but truthfully he has been too casual throughout season despite still racking up the most goals in the squad. He can IMPROVE. He was sharp today (as we needed the frontmen to be to relief the pressure on our rickety defense)

Great finishing for the first and third goal. For the second goal, especially gratifying to see him move toward the excellent AMN cross instead of (as he has done this season mostly) wait for the ball to get to him.

Some good weaving runs today too. I feel he has been a bit slack and today was a response. He needs to be pushed bc even at this late age, he can improve his game (particularly challenging for high balls and ball retention)

12) Mhki – OK. Some decent runs but largely anonymous. A player on the wane IMO. not sure why Mslintat went for the swap deal with United instead of taking the money from City and then investing in Mahrez.

13) Guendouzi _ I thought he came on and did good things. Was competitive winning the ball for us and retained it plus worked right channel and got us started for Auba’s third. We need all 3 mids to rotate to keep up energy levels. Arguably we are short of one more quality mid as mentioned in the squad.

14) Mustafi – No disaster. There hasn’t been any last two games either. No Mustafi in our back 3 at start of game and we still leaked two goals.

Thought he did well, stayed calm and played the ball out from right for us. He is often one of the relied upon outlets to take the ball out of the defense (in the back line). Also his presence helped as he is generally strong in the air and he snuffed out a couple of their route one attempts.

Gaffer : Spot on today. NO mickey mouse back 4 (See Palace, Wolves, Leicester and BHA)

Instead back 3 which still conceded goals but was better balance to support the forwards and pressing higher up the pitch.

We looked iffy after their first goal but just about managed to keep our psychological panic mode in check and pressed through (plus timely goal from Auba). Psychology is a soft less tangible issue to grasp then say tactics or player purchase.

Hopefully the belief in Emery’s luck and success in this competition will carry us through to winning it. We have a great opportunity now (against Chelsea). We cannot afford to spurn it. Everything is at stake particularly for Emery to gain leverage in demanded a bigger pot of money for the summer spend and critical reinforcement.

Santori
Santori

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.

goonshow
goonshow

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!

goonshow
goonshow

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.

goonshow
goonshow

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.

Santori
Santori

Ozil 92% passing accuracy important in a match we needed to retain the ball as much as possible just saying.

goonshow
goonshow

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.

Henrik
Henrik

If only the players had played like this in the last 4 leauge games…..frustrating

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

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.

Jack gunner
Jack gunner

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.

jon

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.

goonshow
goonshow

Aubamazangs and Lacazanians… there’ve been some pearlers on here. But I didn’t realise Diaby had made a miraculous recovery?

Gooner-Fred
Gooner-Fred

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!!!

goonshow
goonshow

Perhaps you should start watching cricket….

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

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.

Santori
Santori

Although…Giroud is joint top scorer in Europa.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

After 15 comments from santoribot, I was just thinking to myself what do we need next? Of course, a 16th!!

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

Speak for yourself, you come across as a really arrogant man

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

Magnificent finish for auba’s first goal

Non m flying dutchman
Non m flying dutchman

Another 0.5 in addition for Kos for how he came over and got Gabriel to calm the %#*£ down. Still clearly bossing matters.

Merlin’s Panini
Merlin’s Panini

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).

Santori
Santori

Replicate against Burnley…we need at least 6 goals.

Billy
Billy

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.

Willem
Willem

They are for sure not gods. They are brilliant yes, but there is only 1 God.

TeeCee
TeeCee

…. and that’s why we have wars to decide exactly whose imaginary friend is the right one.

Alexander
Alexander

Electrical gunners. keep it up

Angry Arsenal Nerd
Angry Arsenal Nerd

…that BT sport commentary 😑

goonshow
goonshow

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 mins left on the clock and Unai brings on… Ramsey – not fit enough for 90 but now risking all in a 15 min burst.
He crunches into Hazard in the centre circle, relieves him of the ball and lays it off to Laca.
Hazard – rolling on the turf like a double Gloucester down Coopers Hill – misses Laca’s superb overstep to flummox Willian and one-two back to Rambo who’s done a trademark lungbuster into the box – and he volleys it top left corner!!! 1-1

The 92nd minute… only 2 left of the 4 so generously added. Extra time looms like a World about to be dumped on Atlas-Koscielny’s valiant but ageing shoulders…
Guendouzi speculates with a longish lob from deep to Ozil lurking just inside the blue scum half. His trademark on-the-run, ‘look-it’s-behind- me-side-heel-flick thingy flawlessly finds… RAMSEY, who’s clear through on goal (Luiz having slipped on his bony arse after misreading Ozil’s master-flick). Rambo looks up and without breaking stride, chips the advancing Unsubstitutable Knob to do an FA Cup rerun on the scum.

2-1 the Arse! 37 seconds to go. Bullet-head Barkley fouls Tiny Torra in his desperation to get the ball. Arse dawdle over the kick… Hazard completely loses it and shoves Sokratis to hurry it up. He’s booked. But wait, it’s a second yellow… it’s red… it’s… divine justice and Hugo’s pitch-side smile is wider that Willian’s hairdo.

The whistle blows.
9 blue and one yellow (and a pathetically lumo shade of yellow at that) fall to the turf in agony.

And all is right in the world.