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‘From bust to boom! – What the national media said about Arsenal after heroic Benfica comeback

Arsenal progressed to the last-16 of the UEFA Europa League in dramatic circumstances on Thursday evening, coming from behind to defeat Benfica 3-2 in Athens.

With the contest level pegging at 1-1 after the first-leg last week, Arsenal made the perfect start, hitting the front through captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after just 21 minutes, ensuring Mikel Arteta’s side held a strong advantage when factoring in their away goal from the first-leg.

However, Benfica came roaring back, equalising just before half time thanks to an inch perfect free-kick from Diogo Goncalves, meaning the two sides were back where they were at the start of the night.

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And the Portuguese side were to take control of the tie just past the hour mark when Rafa Silva pounced on a costly error by Dani Ceballos to round Bernd Leno and tuck the ball home into an empty net.

Fortunately, Arsenal were not about to throw the towel in. First, Kieran Tierney fired home a low, well-taken drive to bring the Gunners level before Aubameyang nodded home Bukayo Saka’s cross with just three minutes remaining to seal a 3-2 win on the night and a 4-3 victory on aggregate, assuring Arteta’s side a place in the last-16 alongside Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

With Aubameyang poised to be remembered as the hero of Athens, the national media have been purring at his invaluable brace, with some reports questioning Jamie Redknapp’s claim about the striker being “past it.”

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With that in mind, football.london has taken a close look at what the national media have had to say on Arsenal’s late European heroics and Aubameyang’s performance.

Daily Mirror

“Arsenal just love to make things hard for themselves in Europe – fortunately they had the answers this time,” Samuel Meade wrote for the Mirror.

“Their rollercoaster rides in Europe date back to epic contests against AC Milan and Monaco…