Arsenal qualified dramatically for the last 16 of the Europa League after winning 3-2 at Benfica. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal in the 87th minute saved the Gunners.
Arsenal face Benfica at Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis, Greece in the second leg of the Europa League last 32, Friday (26/2/2021) early morning WIB. The Gunners cannot play this match at the Emirates Stadium due to a ban on flights to England due to the discovery of a new type of COVID-19 virus.
Arsenal were able to excel first through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 20th minute. Benfica then got up to take the lead from goals from Diogo Goncalves (43 ‘) and Rafa Silva (61’).
This condition made Arsenal on the brink of being eliminated. They need two goals to qualify for the last 16 because the first leg match at Benfica ended in a 1-1 draw.
Arsenal were able to escape this difficult situation thanks to a score from Keiran Tierney (67 ‘) and the winning goal by Aubameyang (87’). London cannon closed the match with a 3-2 win.
They are entitled to advance to the last 16 with a 4-3 advantage on aggregate from Benfica.
The course of the match.
Arsenal were able to open up the advantage in the 20th minute. Bukayo Saka released a measured breakthrough bait that freed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Goal! Aubameyang calmly beat Benfica goalkeeper Helton Leite. Score changed 1-0 for Arsenal.
Trailing Benfica tried to respond in the 33rd minute. Pizzi’s cross from the right found Jan Vertonghen’s forward head to help the attack. However, the header of the former Tottenham Hotspur defender still soared.
The Eagle began to dominate towards the end of the first half. In the 43rd minute, they get a free kick right in front of the Arsenal penalty box after Julian Weigl is fouled by Dani Ceballos.
Goal!! Diogo Goncalves well executed this free kick. The ball rolled into the right corner of Bernd Leno’s goal. Benfica equalized 1-1, the score at the same time closing the first half.
After the break, Arsenal shook Benfica’s net through Aubameyang’s cheat in the 50th minute. However, this goal must be disallowed because the London Cannon captain was first offside.
Arsenal, who appeared dominant at the start of the second half, had to concede in the 61st minute. Ceballos again made a costly mistake. His pass to Bernd Leno anticipated Helton Leite’s long ball too weak.
Goal!! Rafa Silva’s header was grabbed by Ceballos, ahead of Leno. He then easily hits the ball into the empty net. Benfica turned to lead 2-1.
Rafa Silva hits the ball into the empty net behind Bernd Leno. (AP Photo / Thanassis Stavrakis) Photo: AP / Thanassis Stavrakis
Arsenal now have to score two goals in order not to be eliminated. Their pressing effort led to an equalizer in the 67th minute.
Goal!! Kieran Tierney who got the ball in the penalty box from Willian calmly looked for the shooting space. He then took off a hard horizontal kick which Helton could not stop.
In the 77th minute, Arsenal almost scored again from Helton’s mistake. Helton’s bait that hits Aubameyang towards Saka. However, Saka’s shot was wide.
Arsenal’s savior goal was finally born three minutes to make the game complete. Aubameyang becomes an Arsenal hero.
Goal!! Aubameyang, who broke into Helton’s goal with a header from Saka’s cross. Score 3-2 for Arsenal lasted until the game ended.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s header sealed Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Benfica. (AP Photo / Thanassis Stavrakis) Photo: AP / Thanassis Stavrakis
Lineups of Players
Arsenal: Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin (Alexandre Lacazette 77 ‘), David Luiz, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney; Dani Ceballos (Thomas Partey 63 ‘), Granit Xhaka; Emile Smith Rowe (Willian 63 ‘), Martin Odegaard (Calum Chambers 90’), Bukayo Saka (Mohamed Elneny 90 ‘); Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Benfica: Helton Leite; Jan Vertonghen, Lucas Verissimo, Nicolas Otamendi; Alejandro Grimaldo (Nuno Tavares 85 ‘); Adel Taarabt (Gabriel 58 ‘); Diogo Gonçalves, Pizzi (Everton 57 ‘), Julian Weigl (Gian-Luca Waldschmidt 90’); Haris Seferovic (Darwin Nunez 57 ‘), Rafa.
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