Arsenal, Chelsea Reach Europa Semis

Alexandre Lacazette’s first-half free-kick eased Arsenal into the Europa League semi-finals as they completed a 3-0 aggregate victory over Napoli who the Gunners beat 1-0 at home in the second leg.

Lacazette’s 25-yard effort flew into the top corner after the hosts enjoyed the better of the early chances.

Arkadiusz Milik had a goal ruled out for offside while Petr Cech saved well from Jose Callejon.

In the end, it was a comfortable night’s work for the Gunners as Unai Emery marked his 50th game as their manager.

Arsenal, who arrived at the Stadio San Paolo with a 2-0 lead from the first leg in London, could have doubled their margin of victory on the night but home goalkeeper Alex Meret superbly saved from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the break.

The only negative aspect of the evening for Arsenal was Aaron Ramsey hobbling off with a suspected hamstring injury.

The Wales midfielder was withdrawn in the first half and will be a doubt for the club’s remaining fixtures before his summer move to Juventus.

Arsenal are scheduled to host Valencia in the first leg of their semi-final on Thursday 2 May. Valencia beat fellow La Liga side Villarreal 2-0 at home to progress 5-1, having bossed the first leg 3-1.

Blues sweat through

Meanwhile Chelsea held off a second-half comeback by Slavia Prague to progress to the Europa League semi-finals with a 4-3 (5-3 aggregate) victory in the second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Maurizio Sarri’s side were cruising at half-time with a four-goal aggregate lead before Petr Sevcik produced two sensational strikes as the nerves crept into a previously dominant Chelsea performance.

Buoyed by their noisy supporters, the visitors pushed forward as they tried to force a way back into the game but time defeated them as the Blues regained their composure to close out victory.

Having secured a valuable 1-0 advantage in the Czech Republic, Chelsea raced into a three-goal lead in west London courtesy of goals from Pedro, Olivier Giroud and a calamitous Simon Deli own goal.

Slavia captain Tomas Soucek headed in his side’s first goal before Pedro doubled his tally just 63 seconds later.

Chelsea travel to Germany for the first leg of their last-four tie with Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday, 2 May.

The Bundesliga side beat Benfica 2-0 at home to progress on away goals (4-4 aggregate), having lost the first leg 4-2 in Portugal.

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