Aubameyang wants Arsenal to learn Europa League lessons

His late goal gave the Gunners a 3-1 first-leg lead, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang issued Arsenal a warning ahead of facing Valencia again.

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang   -  Getty Images

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang warned Arsenal not to make the same mistakes as last year after winning the first leg of its Europa League semifinal against Valencia 3-1.

Aubameyang scored a potentially decisive late goal at Emirates Stadium on Thursday after Alexandre Lacazette struck twice in seven minutes following Mouctar Diakhaby's early header.

Arsenal is therefore in pole position to reach next month's final in Baku, although Unai Emery's men still have work to do when they head to Mestalla for next Thursday's return.

The Gunners drew their home leg 1-1 with Atletico Madrid in last season's semifinal, Lacazette again on target, but did not fully capitalise on Sime Vrsaljko's 10th-minute red card.

Diego Costa's goal in the second leg was then enough to send Atleti into the final 2-1 on aggregate, with Aubameyang telling Arsenal not to let its strong position slip.

 

"We started not so good, but we had a good reaction, played very well and won the game," Aubameyang said to BT Sport.

"I think we started the game a bit nervous, because we lost the last three [Premier League] games. That's normal, we are human. But after that we had a good reaction.

"I think we have a lot of quality in the group. We can go to the final but we know the next game will be difficult. But if we perform the same there we will go through.

"It's our target of course to win this trophy. It's an opportunity to qualify for the Champions League, so it's really important.

"Last year we were stopped in the semifinals, this year we've learned from our errors and hopefully we'll go on to win."

Before heading to Valencia, Arsenal has to host Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Sunday.

Emery's side can still secure Champions League qualification via a top-four finish and Aubameyang urged his team-mates to renew their focus and get back on track after a poor spell.

"It's the last home game so we have to give the fans a win," Aubameyang added. "It's tough in the Premier League in the race for the top four but we will give everything."

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