Released in the Premier League, Arsenal benefits from the Europa League as a breath of fresh air in a complicated season. After their disappointing draw in the first leg at home (1-1), Mikel Arteta’s team quickly evacuated the doubts on the lawn of Slavia Prague (4-0) this Thursday to join the semi-finals of the C3. If a goal was refused to Emile Smith-Rowe (20) for an offside judged after three minutes of procrastination from the VAR (16th), the kid did not let himself be dismantled, by making a festival to offer the opening the scoring to Nicolas Pepe (18th).
It was another “Wonderkid” that allowed the Gunners to take flight. Bukayo Saka (19) got a penalty two minutes after the first goal, and Alexandre Lacazette, who touched the post in the first leg, did not tremble to transform it (21st). The untenable Saka killed the rest of the suspense on a backlash (25th) in a perfect start. Arsenal then managed his advantage, and Alexandre Lacazette, captain this Thursday, offered himself a brace (77th). The London club will challenge their ex-coach Unai Emery’s Villarreal in the semi-finals. The double confrontation will take place on April 29 and then on May 6.
Unai Emery will cross paths with Arsenal, from where he was sacked in November 2019, in his favorite competition. Triple winner of the C3 with Seville, and finalist of the competition in 2019 at the head of the Gunners, the Spanish technician has visibly transposed his magic recipes with Villarreal. The yellow submarine dismissed Dinamo Zagreb, who fell from Tottenham in the previous round, without trembling. After his victory in Croatia in the first leg (1-0, penalty from Gerard Moreno), Villarreal quickly warmed up to ensure a new success (2-1).
If he first found the post (25th), the stirring Samuel Chukwueze made the difference by starting in the back of Josko Gvardiol to allow Paco Alcacer to open the scoring (36th). Gerard Moreno made the break before the break, following the action on a strong cross from Raul Albiol badly returned by the Croatian defense (42nd). Chukwueze posed a constant threat, but Dinamo Zagreb did not let go. Author of a hat-trick against Tottenham, Mislav Orsic reduced the gap (75th) on a beautiful inspiration from Bruno Petkovic. Insufficient, however.