– Arsenal have booked a place in the round of 16 of Europa League after securing a 3-2 hard-fought win over Benfica
– Aubameyang emerged match hero with a brace, scoring his second goal in the dying minutes
– Diogo Goncalves and Rafa Silva scored the Portuguese side’s two goals but they were not enough
Arsenal have joined rivals English rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the round of 16 of Europa League.
The Gunners booked a place in next round of the European competition after securing a 3-2 stunning comeback win over Benfica in the second leg of their fixture.
The Emirates-based outfit were looking for nothing but a win ahead of the Thursday evening, February 25, clash played at Piraeus, Greece, having settled for a 1-1 draw in the reverse tie a week ago.
Bukayo Saka scored the crucial away goal during the encounter, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang coming under fire for missing a sitter that would have otherwise earned the Mikel Arteta-tutored side a vital win.
However, Aubameyang did make amends to the miss when they hosted the Portuguese side, scoring Arsenal’s opener in the 21st minute, with Saka superbly setting up the Gabonese striker.
The hosts were unable to protect the lead as the half went by, with Benfica equalising minutes into the break through Diogo Goncalves who floated in a well-taken free kick to beat Bernd Leno in goal.
The resumption of the second half saw the visitors take the lead through Rafa Silva who capitalised on Arsenal’s defensive nightmare involving Dani Ceballos who inadvertently flicked the ball on for the Benfica striker.
However, Benfica’s lead was short-lived, with Kieran Tierney restoring parity for the north Londoners in the 67th minute after he was teed up by Willian who came on as a substitute.
With Arsenal staring at an imminent elimination, Aubameyang headed home in the dying minutes of the second half to send his side to the round of 16 on a 4-3 goal aggregate.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Liverpool striker Sadio Mane has admitted that him and his teammates at Anfield will find it difficult to retain their Premier League title this season going by their current form.
Jurgen Klopp and his men have been finding it hard to win in their recent Premier League games with the champions now occupying sixth position on the table.
Their season has also been marred with injuries as some of their first team players are currently recuperating.
Babajide is a digital publishing expert, an avid sports content thinker, researcher and writer. He is a graduate of Guidance and Counselling, having bagged his B.SC (ED) from the Ekiti State University. He can be reached on Twitter @JideOrevba