Arsenal will play hosts to Spanish side Villarreal in the second leg of the Europa League group stages as the Gunners look to book a place at their second Europa League final in three years.
If the north London outfit are to get there, they have some work to do. The club's former manager, Unai Emery, now manages the Spanish outfit and has found his feet once again away from a supposed 'bigger club', and this competition which he has won more than any other manager in history, is once again being eyed up.
Villarreal outplayed the Gunners early on in the first half which resulted in what initially seemed like a flash KO for the travelling side, as the Yellow Submarine took a 2-0 lead inside the first 30 minutes. Things went from bad to worse for Mikel Arteta's men after Dani Ceballos was shown a straight red card in the second 45, which now means the Spanish midfielder will be absent for the second leg, which is of great concern for Arteta.
Arsenal did come on in that second half, though. A penalty from Nicolas Pepe was confidently converted, which has meant that the north London outfit take with them a crucial away goal and a simple 1-0 win for them will see them join Manchester United in the Europa League final, which will be Arsenal second in three years and the second time they've met a fellow English team too.
The home side are also going into this game as the clear favourites to win on the night, but a slight underdog to advance to the final after that Pepe's away goal. We do, however, fear for Arsenal. Their home form all season long as been embarrassing, and in truth, their entire 2020/21 campaign has been arguably the worst in the club's modern history, and Arteta has looked like he's been on borrowed time since around October 2020.
It's simple: one goal for Villarreal and it's probably game over for Arsenal. That goal from Emery's men will be like liquid gold to him after he was sacked by the club and it will surely mean he enters another European cup final.
With this away goal such a possibility, we're backing Villarreal to progress, but the result on the night is tough to call. We're going for a draw on the night.