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Gunners and Blues set up £20m final showdown


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rocks Valencia last night
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rocks Valencia last night
Kepa Arrizabalaga

By Graham Luney

Arsenal's hat-trick hero Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang backed his side to win the Europa League after stunning Valencia last night.

Aubameyang's treble, along with a Alexandre Lacazette strike, sealed a 4-2 win in the Mestalla and a 7-3 aggregate success. And it will be a London derby in the decider on Wednesday, May 29, in Azerbaijan after Chelsea defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, leaving the tie 2-2 on aggregate.

The Europa League winners will qualify for the group stages of the Champions League and pocket £20m.

Aubameyang said: "This means a lot. It is a final and we have to give everything and win. We have learned from last season and this year we didn't make the same mistakes.

"We have talked a lot about my relationship with Alexandre and it is a pleasure to play with him, above all when you win games like this."

At Stamford Bridge, Kepa Arrizabalaga saved from Martin Hinteregger and Goncalo Paciencia in the shootout before Eden Hazard converted the decisive kick. The Blues stopper said: "Penalties are down to luck. Today we won and in the Carabao Cup final we lost, but this is football."

It's the first time one nation has produced four teams for the two big European finals after Liverpool and Tottenham progressed to the Champions League final earlier in the week.

Belfast Telegraph


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