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Arsenal survive CSKA Moscow scare thanks to two surprise stars rising to the occasion in the Europa League

Arsenal are through to the Europa League semi-finals after being given a bit of a scare with a 2-2 draw away to CSKA Moscow tonight.

The Gunners went 2-0 down before Danny Welbeck pulled one back in the 75th minute to give them that crucial away goal and settle the nerves.

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From there, Arsenal took control of the closing stages and even managed an equaliser on the night as Aaron Ramsey’s cool finish at the death made it 2-2.

That gives Arsenal a 6-3 aggregate victory and gives them real hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League despite being well out of contention to make the Premier League top four.

Here’s our round-up of tonight’s action in Russia…

The good

Well, while it wasn’t exactly a vintage display from Arsenal, there is something to be said for their response to going 2-0 down.

Given results elsewhere in Europe this week, it’s clear no tie is over even at 4-1 up from one leg of any European tie, but Arsenal held their nerve when in the past they’ve buckled.

Of course, you’d hope they can put in better displays between now and the end of the season in the Europa League, but their character to hold on tonight and give the correct response should not be sniffed at.

Mohamed Elneny is also a real positive, with the Egyptian showing the kind of passing quality we’ve yet to really see from him yet in an Arsenal shirt as he neatly set up both their goals tonight.

The bad

Petr Cech was woeful again, with his poor goalkeeping giving CSKA Moscow a 2-0 lead and really threatening the Gunners’ place in this competition.

David Ospina is no world-beater, but fans will be hoping he’s brought back into the team as soon as possible after Cech’s form tonight.

Indeed, the Czech Republic international has had a pretty miserable season overall and it just seems clearer and clearer with every passing week that his time is up at this level.

The weird

Danny Welbeck’s actually playing really well, which is strange considering he’s a dreadful player…

This finish was one of real class and composure, and that means he’s been involved in all four of his club’s last four goals in all competitions…

Few would have expected this kind of form from Welbeck earlier this season. In fact, many were dreading the prospect of him having to lead the line for the club in the Europa League due to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being ineligible.

However, if he carries on like this he might actually contribute to a hugely important piece of silverware for Arsenal.

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