Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s hat-trick sends Arsenal into Uefa Europa League final

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The Gabonese forward played a starring role as the Gunners advance to the final of the European tournament

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a hat-trick as Arsenal defeated Valencia 4-2 in the second lef of the Uefa Europa League semi-final.

The Gunners outclassed their hosts at the Estadio de Mestalla with a 7-3 aggregate win, to book a spot in the final billed for the Olympic Stadium in Baku on May 29.

After Kevin Gameiro broke the deadlock in the 11th minute, Aubameyang drew the visitors level on the night with his left-footed shot from outside the penalty area in the 17th minute.

Alexandre Lacazette fired the Gunners ahead in the 50th minute after benefitting from Lucas Torreira’s assist, but the lead was short-lived as Gameiro’s 58th-minute strike brought the hosts level again.

Aubameyang grabbed his second goal of the night in the 69th minute, and then completed his hat-trick after a one-two pass with Henrikh Mkhitaryan two minutes from time.

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He was in action for the entire 90 minutes while Egypt’s Mohamed Elneny and Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi were unused substitutes in the encounter.

Thursday’s efforts stretched Aubameyang’s tally to 29 goals in 49 appearances across all competitions this season.

Gabon’s failure to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt means the 29-year-old will follow the continental showpiece in Egypt as a spectator.

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