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'He changed the game': Arteta names Arsenal's hero vs Benfica - it's not Auba or Saka

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Mikel Arteta faced the media after Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Benfica in Greece earlier today.

It looked like our season was over at one point but the lads refused to give up. We threw everything at them and we deservedly got the goals to turn the tie on its head.

Kieran Tierney, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka were undoubtedly our best players today. However, Arteta believes that a substitute he brought was the reason behind our success in the final 25 minutes of the game.

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Arteta said, as per Goal: “Willian specifically, I think he changed the game.

“He gave us much more composure in moments, produced some creativity, produced the goal for Kieran and we need everybody on board.”

Willian made a big difference

Arteta’s decision to bring Willian on ahead of Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli was a big surprise. The Brazilian has had a shocking season and not many people expected him to deliver when our backs were against the wall.

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Willian surprised everyone. He looked interested for a change, his movement was very good and his smart pass to Tierney instead of a hopeful cross into the box changed the game for us.

We all know that Willian is capable of delivering at the top-level – he did that for years at Chelsea but it just wasn’t happening for him at the Emirates. Hopefully, tonight’s performance will give him the confidence he needs to get back to his best.

It will be interesting to see if Willian starts the game against Leicester on Sunday. Most Arsenal fans would have been against that idea a few hours ago, but he might have changed a few people’s minds after what he did today.

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