Lacazette’s Double Gives Arsenal Edge, Chelsea Draw in Frankfurt

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Arsenal players celebrating their 3-1 defeat of Valencia in the first leg of the semi final of the Europa League at the Emirates Stadium in London

EUROPA

Alexandre Lacazette scored twice as Arsenal came from behind at Emirates Stadium to win the first leg of their Europa League semi-final against Valencia.

Mouctar Diakhaby’s header put Valencia in front before Lacazette slotted in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s pass.

The Frenchman nodded in Granit Xhaka’s cross seven minutes later to make it 2-1 before half-time.

And Aubameyang’s late volley ensured Arsenal take a two-goal lead to Spain.

Lacazette should have scored a hat-trick – he fluffed a header from six yards out in the second half and was later denied by goalkeeper Neto on two occasions.

But Arsenal will travel to Valencia for the second leg next Thursday with a two-goal lead, hoping to avoid a second successive semi-final defeat after they were knocked out by eventual winners Atletico Madrid last year.

Elsewhere last night, Pedro scored an away goal as Chelsea recovered from an early setback against Eintracht Frankfurt to set up an exciting Europa League semi-final return leg at Stamford Bridge.

Eintracht took the lead through their top scorer Luka Jovic, who superbly steered in Filip Kostic’s ball.

The Blues, who started with Eden Hazard on the bench, equalised when Pedro thrashed home just before half-time.

David Luiz also went close when his dipping free-kick came off the bar.

The second leg is on Thursday, 9 May.