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Arsenal beat Valencia 3-1 in the first leg of the semi-finals of the European League

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Arsenal beat Valencia 3-1 in the first leg of the semi-finals of the European League

Alexandre Lacazette scored twice in the first half on Thursday and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added another in the final whistle for Arsenal to beat Valencia 3-1 at home in the first leg of the European League semi-finals, while Chelsea claimed a valuable 1-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany.

Mouctar Diakhaby opened the lead for Valencia after 11 minutes, but the home side turned the scoreboard around at the Emirates Stadium thanks to the French attacker’s double at 18 and 26, the first giving the final touch to a great collective play.

Lacazette wasted two clear-cut options to extend the lead in the second half and Arsenal finally scored the third goal in stoppage time thanks to a volley from Aubameyang.

In the other match of the day, Chelsea pulled off a valuable draw thanks to a Pedro goal that could be vital to the English team’s hopes of reaching the final of the tournament.

Serbian Luka Jovic opened the scoring for the home team at 23 minutes past Filip Kostic, his ninth goal in the competition and the number 26 so far this season.

But Chelsea managed a draw at the end of the first half thanks to the Spanish striker. Both teams are fourth in their respective leagues, so winning this tournament offers them an alternative to qualifying for the next edition of the Champions League.

Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri left Eden Hazard on the bench until 62 minutes later to give the Belgian player a break for matches against Watford and Leicester City in the closing stages of the Premier League.