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Arsenal survive scare to progress in Europa League

Arsenal vs Ostersunds FK
during UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Arsenal and Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium on February 22, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.

Despite going 2-0 down early on in the first-half, Arsenal held on against Ostersunds FK and progressed into the Round of 16 draw for the Europa League

Following their 3-0 victory in Sweden during the first leg, Arsenal were heavily fancied as the favourites to progress from the tie into the next stage of the Europa League.

Despite the 3-0 aggregate lead, Arsene Wenger fielded a relatively strong line-up for the second leg. In a 4-2-3-1 formation, the likes of Hector Bellerin & Henrikh Mkhitaryan featured in the starting line-up with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey out due to illness and injury. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was controversially cup-tied due to his former club Borussia Dortmund now featuring in the tournament after dropping out of the Champions League group stages.

As reported on Sky Sports, it was Ostersunds who emerged as the stronger of the two sides at the beginning with Arsenal having a poor first-half display. Then in the 22nd minute of the game, Hosam Aiesh slot the ball passed David Ospina and saw his effort accidentally directed by Arsenal’s Calum Chambers into the back of his own net. Ostersunds then doubled their lead when Ken Senna scored a superb finish to make the score 2-0 to the away side and crucially 3-2 on aggregate, suddenly Arsenal were under a lot of pressure with their comfortable advantage now having been reduced to just a single goal.

In the second-half Sead Kolasinac bought some relief to the Gunners, when he fired home shortly after the break to pull one back for his side from Bellerin’s cross. The score remained the same for the rest of the match with both goalkeepers having to make key saves towards the end of the match with Arsenal emerging as the victors with a 4-2 aggregate win.

Arsenal will find who they will be playing for their Round of 16 Europa League tie on Friday afternoon. Meanwhile they will next be facing Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.