Valencia 2-4 Arsenal: 5 Talking Points
- Here are the 5 talking points, as Arsenal secured their first European Final since 2006 with a 4-2 away win over Valencia at the Mestalla.
A 4-2 away win over La Liga side Valencia, who fought valiantly despite a 7-3 aggregate defeat, means Unai Emery's men have a golden opportunity to finish the 18/19 campaign with their first piece of European silverware.
Fittingly, they will face London rivals Chelsea in Baku on May 29th. They emerged after a dramatic penalty shootout win over Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, with the pair set to contest an intriguing clash with a 2019/20 Champions League qualification berth up for grabs for the winner.
Without further ado, here's a look at five talking points from Arsenal's morale-boosting away win in Valencia:
#5. Goncalo Guedes improves yet still not enough
Guedes was poor in the first leg and naturally, I said he needed to improve if Valencia were to have a chance of mounting an unlikely comeback at the Mestalla.
On this occasion, he was much improved at times - particularly early on - but again it wasn't enough to secure the victory against a simply stronger Arsenal side in truth. He faded after a lively start before again being replaced, this time after 70 minutes for teenage forward Ferran Torres.
Guedes completed two key passes, one dribble, interception and was fouled once too, but crucially his output in the final third was inconsistent and ultimately disappointing. He was dispossessed on seven occasions, either by tackles or needless giveaways, while his 83.3% pass accuracy masked thet start of him only winning two of the eight duels he contested during the match.
Those stats are damning for a player of his ability and despite early signs that he had the better of Ainsley Maitland-Niles down the right, with an overlapping Jose Gaya in support, once the 21-year-old got settled, their influence waned significantly as he forced Guedes into safer passing options.