Arsenal are coming off the fact of a pretty, well, fascinating game against Watford, in which they were unable to hold on and secure the three points they desired (and desperately needed). They were 2-0 up at one stage and seemed to be in cruise control but in the end, they allowed their defensive issues to get the better of them in a massive, massive way.
The Europa League group stage is going to soon officially be upon us, and while that may fill a lot of fans with dread, we’re quite excited for it to get underway again. Regardless of what you may or may not think in regards to the competition itself, it marks a form of European football for Arsenal to compete in – and that can only be a good thing as far as we’re concerned.
The UEFA Europa League draw is going to be taking place later on today, and we’re pretty excited to see how it all unfolds. While a lot of fans may think otherwise there are absolutely no favours given in this competition, and you have to earn every single point in more ways than one. As such, there are no easy draws for Arsenal heading into the festivities this afternoon.
The expectation last night was that Arsenal would push the pace against Chelsea and really assert their authority on the game early on. All things considered, that doesn’t seem like all too much to ask for, but in the end, it quite clearly was. Chelsea defeated Arsenal 4-1 in Baku, condemning Unai Emery’s men to yet another season of Europa League football in the process. No, we aren’t joking.
Europa League (cont.)
The knockout stages wound up being much more difficult than anyone could’ve anticipated, and when we say difficult, we mean BATE Borisov and Rennes just wouldn’t lie down. They did it a really great job of holding firm and pushing Arsenal all the way, and they deserve to be applauded for that. Then, in the big games against Napoli and Valencia, the Gunners proved once again that they can mix it up with the best of them when called upon. Now, one final showdown with Chelsea awaits – and there’s no reason to believe they can’t get the job done.
We’re of the belief that Arsenal have had an interesting season, and in truth, interesting is one of the best neutral words we can think to use. We’ve said it time and time again since the Premier League campaign came to an end, but here it is again: some things were good, and some were bad. It’s not like we get off on sitting on the fence or anything, either, because in many ways we actually aren’t sitting on the fence. Quite the opposite, in fact.
We’re not all too far away from Arsenal’s Europa League final, as the club go in search of a European trophy for the first time in a long time. The Gunners have certainly been able to earn their place in Baku throughout the course of the competition, to the point where a lot of neutrals believe they are the favourites to lift the trophy. Whether that’s true or not, it doesn’t really matter – because what does matter is that the club gets the job done regardless of the expectations.
Arsenal will take on Chelsea in the UEFA Europa League Final in Baku, in a game that many fans had seen coming ever since the semi final draw was made. These two London rivals are going to be going toe to toe for the right to lift one of the most beautiful trophies in football, but of course, the game means more to Arsenal as their Champions League hopes rest on the outcome of this game.
Arsenal have one foot in the UEFA Europa League final, which in itself, is a pretty exciting prospect. Arsenal fans haven’t been able to get excited about a European final since they lost to Barcelona in the Champions League final back in 2006, which we can imagine is still a sore spot for a lot of supporters. Still, we’re here to talk about the future as opposed to the past, and the future is certainly bright after the Gunners were able to beat Valencia 3-1 in the first leg of their Europa League semi final tie last night.
- The Gunners knocked out CSKA Moscow at this stage of the Europa League last season (6-3 on aggregate) before falling to Atletico Madrid in the semi finals.
- The stage doesn’t matter because, to us, this is the same as the Atletico game – just at a different stage. Their games in this competition won’t get much harder than this one on paper, and they need to remain focused.
- Arsenal have been beaten just once in their last 17 home games in the UEFA Cup/Europa League (W12 D4) – losing 1-2 to Ostersunds FK in the last 32 in 2017-18.