Europa League: Arsenal, Chelsea through to semi-finals

Written By: BBC/Muraya Kamunde
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Arsenal keeper Petr Cech says his side made a “very difficult” trip to Napoli “look easy” to seal a 3-0 aggregate win and reach the Europa League last four.

Alexandre Lacazette’s first-half free-kick into the top corner earned victory on the night after the hosts had had the better of the early chances.

“We controlled the game really well and defended really well too,” said Cech.

The Gunners will host Valencia in the first leg of their semi-final on Thursday, 2 May.

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Cech, who is retiring as a player this summer, saved well from Jose Callejon, while Arkadiusz Milik had a goal ruled out for offside – but otherwise, the Serie A side struggled to make an impression.

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“Napoli are a fantastic team who always score a lot of goals, especially here at home, so to keep two clean sheets is obviously something [positive],” added the 36-year-old Czech.

“It was a very difficult game but we made it look easier because we played really well.”

It ensured a comfortable night’s work for the Gunners as Unai Emery marked his 50th game as their manager.

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Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has criticized his players’ sense of urgency after half time, despite their 4-3 Europa League quarter-final victory over Slavia Prague.

Chelsea were 4-1 up at the break, but two goals from Petr Sevcik shortly after half-time got Slavia back into the match, with Chelsea holding on to advance to the Semi-finals on a 5-3 aggregate.

Pedro scored twice for Chelsea as they beat Slavia Prague 4-3 in a thrilling game at Stamford Bridge, to progress to the Europa League semi-finals.

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The Spaniard gave Chelsea an early lead before a Slavia own goal extended the hosts’ advantage.

Olivier Giroud scored Chelsea’s third on the night, with Slavia pulling a goal back before Pedro added Chelsea’s 4th.

Shortly after half time, Petr Sevcik netted two quick goals to give the Czech visitors hope of a comeback. However, Chelsea progressed to the semi-finals on a 5-3 aggregate, and will now play Frankfurt over two legs on May 2/9.

Frankfurt beat Benfica 2-0, to qualify on the away goals rule.

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