Positive Results for Arsenal and Chelsea in Europa League

Unai Emery

Unai Emery won three Europa League titles with Sevilla in successive seasons

And the Spaniard, a three-time victor of the competition with Sevilla, will take a two-goal lead back to former club Valencia for next week's second leg after Aubameyang struck late on.

Arsenal may have lost three Premier League games in a row but the Gunners got back to winning ways despite the worst possible start.

Arsenal were knocked out of the Europa League by Atlético Madrid at this stage of the competition in Arsène Wenger's final season as manager. But I told them: it's the first leg.

"I am very proud of the supporters and very proud of our work".

"We are going to prepare for the match thinking to win, thinking to score, thinking to take our moment in attack, but it depends", he said with a shrug.

However, they moved much closer to booking their place in Baku when Aubameyang turned home at the back post in the final minute.

"Thankfully Auba scored the third one".

Valencia opened the scoring through Mouctar Diakhaby in the 11th minute but Unai Emery's side produced the flawless response after conceding an away goal.

"We want to win the Europa League to go straight to the Champions League but also to win a trophy".

However, the hosts did not learn their lesson and from another set-piece, Valencia took the lead when Diakhaby got the final touch at the back post to force home Rodrigo´s header across goal.

For a while there was panic in the Arsenal ranks and both Daniel Parejo and Goncalo Guedes threatened a second.

Seven minutes later, Arsenal led as awful defending allowed Lacazette a free header from Granit Xhaka´s cross and a weak hand from Neto could not prevent the ball crossing the line.

For the second, Lacazette showed equally ruthless predatory instincts, evading his marker with intelligent movement in the box before prodding a header from Granit Xhaka's cross over the line, despite Neto's best efforts, to hand the home side an unlikely lead.

Suddenly Arsenal were rampant and another Xhaka cross found Aubameyang but he bounced his volley over the bar.

Valencia burst back into life in the second half and it needed a fearless header by Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny to stop a cross reaching the unsafe Goncalo Guedes.

He made poor contact with a header from an Aubameyang cross before failing to beat Neto from five yards out soon after.

Valencia, losing semifinalists in 2012 and 2014, would have been reasonably content heading back to Spain with a 2-1 defeat but they switched off in the dying seconds.

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