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Hazard benched in Chelsea’s draw as Iwobi features as a substitute in Arsenal’s triumph

Elvis Baya

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Hazard benched in Chelsea’s draw as Iwobi features as a substitute in Arsenal’s triumph 4

Nigerian national team star Alexander Chuka Iwobi featured on The Gunners substitute in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Valencia in Thursday’s UEFA Europa League first leg clash at the Emirates stadium. In

Iwobi has made ten Europa League appearances with six of them as substitute and he has scored once and made two assists for the Gunners.

Mouctar Diakhaby handed Valencia the lead after 11 minutes but two quick goals from Alexandre Lacazette in eight minutes gave the Gunners the lead into the break.

In the second half, after so much pressure, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scored a third goal in additional time to secure a comfortable win ahead of the second leg at the Mestalla stadium.

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Arsenal manager Unai Emery opted to start Matteo Guendouzi ahead of Lucas Torreira in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals first-leg tie against Valencia as noted that the Frenchman has a better understanding with Mesut Ozil.

When the team sheet rolled out an hour before kick-off, eyebrows were raised as Emery chose 20-year-old Guendouzi over the more experienced former Sampdoria midfielder, Torreira.

Speaking in a press conference, Emery revealed why he opted to start Guendouzi over Torreira, “After the first half, it was not playing like I was thinking. But, it is good for us and our composition with the team, the set up I think was for controlling the possession also. This is the reason. I was thinking with Matteo, he can have that and also with the combination with Mesut.’’

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Eden Hazard of Chelsea

In Germany, Chelsea played out a 1-1 draw away with Eintracht Frankfurt. Luka Jovic gave the hosts, Frankfurt the lead after 23 minutes but Pedro Rodriguez drew Chelsea level in the 45th minute.

Despite dominating the second half, Chelsea were fortunate to survive a handful of late chances, and the tie remains finely poised ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, May 9.

Eden Hazard started from the bench with Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri revealing that the Belgian understood why he was benched.

In an interview minutes to the game, Sarri noted that Hazard was 100 percent fit despite featuring on Chelsea’s bench, with his absence from the starting line-up being because of the volume of football he has played recently.

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Addressing press shortly after the match, Sarri revealed how Hazard reacted to being benched in the game, “In the normal way. He was in the dressing room joking as usual, as normal. But he knows the truth very well. He knows very well that sometimes he has to rest. For a player that has to play 70 matches in a season, it’s normal. A normal reaction.”

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