Europa League, Aubameyang helps Arsenal overcome Benfica: Records broken
A late strike by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang helped Arsenal beat Benfica 3-2 in the Europa League round of 32 (second leg). Claiming a 4-3 lead on aggregate, Arsenal reached the tournament's last 16 on Thursday. Travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the home leg of Arsenal to the home of Greek club Olympiakos. Here are the records broken.
How did the match pan out?
Aubameyang opened the scoring for Arsenal in the 21st minute. However, Diogo Goncalves netted the equalizer for Benfica just before the half-time (43'). In a turn of events, mid-fielder Rafa Silva put Benfica 2-1 ahead, which meant Arsenal were on the brink of a humiliating exit. However, successive goals by Kieran Tierney (67') and Aubameyang (87') helped Arsenal overcome Benfica.
Feats attained by Tierney and Saka
As per Opta, Tierney is the first Scottish player to score for Arsenal in a major European competition since Willie Young against IFK Goteborg (1980) in the Winners' Cup quarter-final. Since the start of last season, no player has provided more assists in the Europa League than Saka (8). He has also provided more assists than any other Arsenal player (17) in all competitions.
The incredible run of Aubameyang
Aubameyang has now scored in seven of his last eight cup matches for Arsenal (9 goals - FA Cup: 5, Europa League: 3, Community Shield: 1). He failed to score only against Benfica in the first leg during this run.
Bernd Leno plays his 100th match for Arsenal
Goal-keeper Bernd Leno made his 100th appearance for Arsenal in the game against Benfica, thereby becoming the fifth German player to reach this milestone for the club. He is only behind Jens Lehmann (200), Per Mertesacker (221) Mesut Ozil (254) and Shkodran Mustafi (151) on the tally. Overall, this is the third season for Leno with Arsenal.