Arsenal face bigger challenge than Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to reach Europa League final


Arsenal are on cloud nine after reaching the Europa League semi-finals, but a tough challenge awaits.

The Gunners booked their spot in the penultimate stage of the competition on Thursday night with a 4-0 win over Slavia Prague in the second leg and a 5-1 win on aggregate.

It was a night to remember in the Czech Republic capital for Mikel Arteta and his men, and the win sets up a semi-final date with old boss Unai Emery and his Villarreal side.

After last night’s showing, Arsenal will feel like they can take on the world, but there is one big reason why the Gunners have a reason to fear their next Europa League opponents.


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Gerard Moreno, the man who has fired Villarreal to their success so far this season, has become one of the most feared strikers in Europe without dominating headlines in the way that the likes of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe have.

The Spain international, who will be heading to Euro 2020 this summer, has managed 33 goal contributions in 35 games across all competitions for Villarreal so far this season, scoring 25 and assisting eight.

Moreno is the second top scorer in both La Liga and Europa League with 19 and six goals respectively in the competitions.

And that’s not even the headline. Since the turn of the year, Moreno has only contributed less than two players across the top five leagues with 17 goals and six assists in 2021.

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Only Robert Lewandowski, who has scored 22 and assisted three, and Lionel Messi, who has scored 19 and assisted eight, have managed more.

Meanwhile, Erling Haaland has scored 16 and assisted six, while Kylian Mbappe has scored 19 but only assisted three, putting him lower down in the goal contributions table.

Moreno hasn’t made anywhere near as many headlines as any of those players, but one of the most feared forwards in La Liga, Arsenal have their work cut out ahead of the first leg on April 29 and the second on May 6.





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