It’s not easy being an Arsenal fan, is it?
The Gunners were on the brink of getting knocked out of the tournament, but a spirited comeback pushed us into the next round of the Europa League.
Here is a look at five things we learned from the fixture…
Same old Arsenal, always gifting
We just love shooting ourselves in the foot, don’t we. Arsenal were dominating the game after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener, but a needless foul from Dani Ceballos brought Benfica back on level terms.
The Spaniard made a mess out of a simple header in the second half as well. That gifted Rafa Silva an easy goal, and it just looked like one of the days. Thankfully, we fought our way back and Ceballos will be a relieved man.
The best youngster in the world
Bukayo Saka didn’t look at all at his best today but he still had a massive say in the game. He assisted both of Aubameyang’s goals, and where on earth would we be without our teenage superstar.
That’s now six goals and seven assists in all competitions for Saka. He has been one of our best players this season, and Arsenal fans will be hoping that he can carry this on until the end of the campaign.
Past his best?
Jamie Redknapp boldly claimed on Sky Sports last weekend that Auba was ‘past his best’. Our skipper has had a poor season and his performances against Manchester City and Benfica in the first-leg were far from his best.
However, to say he’s past his best is just ludicrous. The Arsenal skipper showed his class again tonight, and that should silence all his doubters, at least until the next game on Sunday.
The Arteta and Willian story
Every Arsenal fan in the world would’ve had the same disgruntled reaction when Mikel Arteta brought on Willian in the second half. Bringing on a player who has had a shocking season ahead of the likes of Lacazette, Pepe and Martinelli seemed a very poor move.
However, the Brazilian did very well when he came on. His assist to Kieran Tierney brought us back into the game, and hopefully, this will give him the confidence to become the player we all hoped he’d be when he joined us from Chelsea.
Arsenal’s best player
Auba’s goals and Saka’s assists will steal all the headlines, but Tierney really is a hero. The Scotsman popped into the box and scored a fantastic goal, and without him, we might not have made it past the line tonight.
His reaction after scoring showed just how much he wanted his mates to get back into the game.
Tierney is a real leader and there is absolutely no doubt about the fact that he is the man to take over the captain’s armband when Auba moves on.