Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Arsenal: Gunners begin Europa League with win in Germany

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Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Arsenal: Gunners begin Europa League with win in Germany
Arsenal lost against Chelsea in last year’s Europa League final

Goals from academy gradates Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka helped Arsenal overcome a difficult test against Eintracht Frankfurt and begin their Europa League campaign with a victory.

Willock put the Gunners in front with a deflected shot in the first half before Saka smashed in a second in the 85th minute.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added a third two minutes later as Arsenal ended their three-game winless run.

The Gunners had created further chances but also relied on goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to come to the aid of their fragile defence.

The Argentine produced excellent low saves to deny Filip Kostic and Andre Silva in the first half.

The second period was frantic in front of a vociferous home crowd with Arsenal’s late goals only coming after Dominik Kohr was shown a second yellow card for a cynical foul.

Youngsters star in attack

Manager Unai Emery opted for a mix of youth and experience for the game in Germany, despite it arguably being Arsenal’s toughest test in Group F, and it was their young players who stood out.

Teenager Saka, playing for the first team for the first time this season and fifth time in total, was excellent on the left flank.

He set up Willock’s goal by beating his marker with fine skill in midfield and was the main threat for the Gunners in the first half.

The only criticism was he spurned a number of chances to increase Arsenal’s lead but he silenced those doubts with an emphatic finish from the edge of the area late on.

Willock played as the Gunners most advanced central midfielder and offered a goal threat but also linked play well, notably with a fine driving run in the second half which ended with Martin Hinteregger excellently blocking an Aubameyang shot.

The scoreline flattered Arsenal in the end but the game will be most memorable for the performance of their youngsters.

More to follow.

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