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Arsenal 4, Valencia 2: More than enough

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Arsenal are headed to the Europa League finals!

Arsenal celebrates after a goal by Alexandre Lacazette against Valencia, May 9, 2019.
Arsenal celebrates after a goal by Alexandre Lacazette against Valencia, May 9, 2019.
Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

There was a bit of everything.

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang cutting inside. Alexandre Lacazette with a deft turn. Ainsley Maitland-Niles cutting the ball across the backside of the Valencia defensive line. And yes, a pair of goals allowed that for a time, especially given what happened in the Champions League semi-finals, offered a hint of concern.

But in the end, Arsenal had more than enough over two legs to put Valencia away and confirm a spot in the Europa League Final later this month.

It was a special night for Aubameyang particularly with his hat trick that more than anything was a fine representation of his finishing ability. He’s able to put the ball in the net in a variety of ways and tonight was a good reminder of that. A volley from outside the box, a committed run onto AMN’s pass and a powerful finish from a tight angle. He’s just a fantastic poacher.

Ultimately, it offers Arsenal a reprieve from their form in the league over the last month. While we’ve squandered away a gifted opportunity to make the top four in the EPL table, Arsenal were fantastic against Napoli and Valencia. Whatever it is that Unai Emery has figured out in the Europa League, I hope he sprinkles some of that over our domestic efforts next season.

Chelsea and Eintracht Frankfurt are currently headed into extra time to decide who Arsenal will face on May 29 in Baku, Azerbaijan.