Europa League: Aubameyang snatches late winner against Benfica to send Arsenal to the last 16

Europa League: Aubameyang snatches late winner against Benfica to send Arsenal to the last 16

Arsenal advanced to the last 16 of the Europa League after beating Benfica 3-2 (4-3 on aggregate) on Thursday evening. 

Aubameyang gave Arsenal the lead early before Diogo Goncalves' beautiful free-kick just before halftime drew Benfica level. 

Midfielder Dani Ceballos' howler of a header back towards Leno left Arsenal needing two goals in the final 29 minutes. Tierney dragged them back into it with a blast into the bottom corner before some brilliance from Saka teed up Aubameyang to head in the clincher. 

Arsenal opened the scoring in the 21st minute through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The club captain was put through by Saka with a brilliant reverse pass and made no mistake from close range. 

Just before halftime, Arsenal conceded and the two teams were level on aggregate. There was a rash challenge from Ceballos on Weigl that handed Benfica a free-kick in a dangerous position. The Gunners paid the price for that momentary lapsed as Diogo Goncalves whipped in a stunning free-kick.

After the restart, Aubameyang netted the second goal of the game for the Gunners but it was ruled out for offside after VAR check. 

Ceballos made another mistake and Rafa Silva capitalized as he rounded the on-rushing Arsenal goalkeeper, and walked the ball into the net to leave Arsenal to need two goals.

Some minutes later Arsenal drew level through Kieran Tierney after the left-back received a searching pass inside the penalty zone from Willian. 

With three minutes remaining, Arsenal restored their lead and it was Aubameyang who netted his second of the game. Bukayo Saka had the ball on the right-wing, he composed himself before spitting Auba with a lovely pass and the Arenal forward did the rest with his header. 

The draw for the Europa League last-16 will take place on Friday, February 26 in Nyon's House of European Football. 

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