Valencia 2 Arsenal 4
Gameiro 11, 58 Aubameyang 17, 69, 88, Lacazette 50 (Agg 3-7)

A stunning treble from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang helped Arsenal reachthe Europa League final with a thrashing of Valencia to set up an all English team final against Chelsea who saw off Eintracht Frankfurt in the other semi-final. The Gunners recovered from a shaky start at the Mestalla when Kevin Gameiro had the home crowd buzzing with the early strike. The La Liga side went close to doubling their lead, which would have levelled the tie at that stage, but with their first real attack, Aubameyang levelled with a majestic shot from Alexandre Lacazette’s flick on. The France striker then gave Arsenal the lead with a placed effort. Gameiro tapped in for Valencia’s second, but Arsenal took control when Aubameyang raced in to find the goal after a fizzing cross from Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The Gabon striker rifled into the roof of Neto’s net for a 7-3 aggregate win, after a neat move on the right to set up Arsenal’s first European final since 2006. Unai Emery has won the Europa League three times and will now look to make history with a fourth with in Baku.

Emery praised the work of his strike force, with Aubameyang’s first Arsenal hat-trick in his mind.

“Every player congratulated him and before the match I think we spoke in the hotel, everybody, about our moments, about our experiences, about being together and how we can take the best performance collectively and individually. They made that and after the match congratulations because every player gave us all they can do in 90 minutes and after, individually, we can also speak about some players. Aubameyang for the goals, Lacazette for another goal but I think we worked very well and this work is for being proud of them and also remembering our supporters at home. We played last week and they were full in the stadium with us. Today they are coming here to support us and I think we can be proud of each single player and each single supporters.”

The Arsenal Head Coach accepted that his side fell short in the Premier League top four places, but knows that they have an opportunity to return to the European top table.

“We had two possibilities. One is Premier League and we lost, and the second is the Europa League. I think the Europa League has improved a lot and I said yesterday here in the press conference that I started here with Valencia in the Europa League in 2008. It was different, very different. Last year it was Atletico Madrid, two years ago it was Manchester United and the year before that it was Sevilla playing in the final against Liverpool. It’s a good competition to get into the Champions League. Our objective is clear: to go to the Champions League. But also this is one title and one moment.”

Arsenal travel to Burnley in their final Premier League game of the 2018/19 season