Aubameyang picks perfect time to put in best performance in Arsenal shirt and fire club into Europa League final

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG picked the perfect time to put in his best performance in an Arsenal shirt to fire the club into the Europa League final.

The 29-year-old banged in his first hat-trick since joining from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018 to help the Gunners beat Valencia 4-2 at the Mestalla.

Known for being a prolific striker, the Gabon international is often criticised over his finishing – with his shocking miss against Brighton on Sunday costing the club a top four finish.

But he showed tonight why Arsenal forked out £56million for his signature as he dismantled Valencia's defence as he silenced the home crowd.

Heralded as the closest player the North London side have had since Thierry Henry, Aubameyang proved he's more than capable of firing Arsenal to their first European title since winning the Cup Winners' Cup in 1994.

His equalising strike killed off Los Che's momentum as he expertly found the bottom corner with a half-volley from 25 yards out after getting on the end of Alexandre Lacazette's flick-on.

His second strike then put Arsenal 3-2 up as he diverted Ainsley Maitland-Niles' cross past Neto to all-but seal the tie for Unai Emery's men.

And with Valencia feeling sorry for themselves, Aubameyang rubbed salt in their wounds as he latched onto Henrikh Mkhitaryan's before rifling into the roof of the net.

His treble brought up 29 goals for the season for the former Lille loanne, meaning Sergio Aguero is the only Premier League striker that has more goals than him in all competitions this term.

But it wasn't just his presence in front of that was a joy to watch, as he repeatedly sprinted back to help make-shift right-back Maitland-Niles.

While he also chased every loose ball, every pass from a Valencia player, and together with Alexandre Lacazette, never gave the Spanish outfit a minute to rest.

It was an evening to savour for Arsenal fans, and certainly one that Aubameyang will never forget.

If he plays like that in the final on May 29, Emery will surely be celebrating his fourth Europa League crown.


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