They emerged from Group E unscathed after winning five and drawing one of their six games, but they had to come from behind in successive knockout ties against BATE Borisov and Rennes to reach the quarter-finals.
Despite struggling in the early knockout stages, they produced two brilliant displays to eliminate two of the toughest teams left in the competition - Napoli and Valencia.
In a classic European semi-final, Arsenal reached their first European final since 2006 after a thrilling 7-3 aggregate win over Valencia – setting up a domestic clash in the final against Chelsea.
Ahead of the final on Wednesday 29 May, BTSport.com looks back on Arsenal’s route to the Europa League final.
Arsenal 4-2 Vorskla – Matchday 1
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice as Arsenal opened their campaign with a convincing win over Ukrainian side Vorskla Poltava.
Danny Welbeck and Mesut Ozil also scored for the Gunners, but Vorskla did score two consolation goals through captain Vladimir Chesnakov and Vyacheslav Sharpar in the dying minutes.
Qarabag 0-3 Arsenal – Matchday 2
Arsenal maintained their perfect start to Group E with a comprehensive win over Azerbaijani side Qarabag in their first trip to Baku.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos opened the scoring in the fourth minute before 18-year-old academy graduate Emile Smith Rowe doubled Arsenal’s advantage. Matteo Guendouzi added a third late on in a comfortable victory for a heavily rotated Arsenal side.
Sporting CP 0-1 Arsenal – Matchday 3
Danny Welbeck’s second-half winner over a flat Sporting side ensured Arsenal retained top spot in Group E.
The English forward calmly slotted home after 77 minutes, extending Arsenal’s winning run to 11 games in all competitions in the process and defeating the Portuguese side in what was on paper the Gunners' toughest test of the group stages.
Arsenal 0-0 Sporting CP – Matchday 4
Arsenal’s stalemate with Sporting was overshadowed by a serious ankle injury sustained by Welbeck.
However, despite dropping points for the first time in this season’s competition, the result coupled with a 1-0 win for Qarabag over Vorskla Poltava was enough for Arsenal to qualify for the round of 32.
Vorskla 0-3 Arsenal – Matchday 5
A youthful Arsenal side secured top spot in Group E after cruising past Vorskla in Kiev.
Smith Rowe opened the scoring with his second goal in as many starts, before Aaron Ramsey doubled their lead after 27 minutes.
Nineteen-year-old Joe Willock made it three before half-time in sub-zero conditions in Ukraine's capital.
Arsenal 1-0 Qarabag – Matchday 6
The Gunners completed the group stage with a routine victory over Qarabag.
Alexandre Lacazette scored the game’s only goal in the 16th minute after neat build up play between the Frenchman and Mesut Ozil.
The win was also notable for Laurent Koscielny’s return from injury after he ruptured his Achilles against Atletico in last season’s Europa League.
BATE 1-0 Arsenal – Round of 32 first leg
Arsenal slumped to their first defeat in the Europa League against Belarusian side BATE in the round of 32 first-leg.
Stanislav Dragun headed past Petr Cech just before half-time and Arsenal’s woes were compounded in the 85th minute when Lacazette was given his marching orders for elbowing Aleksandar Filipovic.
Arsenal 3-0 BATE – Round of 32 second leg
Arsenal bounced back from a shock first-leg defeat in style, thumping BATE 3-0 at the Emirates in February.
Zakhar Volkov inadvertently turned Aubameyang's low cross into his own goal in the opening stages to draw Arsenal level on aggregate before Shkodran Mustafi and substitute Sokratis sealed the victory with goals either side of half-time.
Rennes 3-1 Arsenal – Round of 16 first leg
Ten-man Arsenal succumbed to another European away defeat in France, losing 3-1 to Rennes despite Alex Iwobi scoring after four minutes to put the Gunners ahead.
The game turned when Sokratis was sent off for a second booking just before half-time and Benjamin Bourigeaud immediately drew the hosts level with a stunning strike.
Nacho Monreal’s own goal and Ismaila Sarr's late header then ensured Arsenal had a mountain to climb to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Arsenal 3-0 Rennes – Round of 16 second leg
In a dramatic night at the Emirates, Aubameyang scored twice as Arsenal overcame a two-goal deficit to knock out Rennes and qualify for the quarter-finals.
The Gabon forward opened the scoring within four minutes before setting up Ainsley Maitland-Niles for Arsenal’s second.
The comeback was complete when Aubameyang poked in Sead Kolasinac's low cross with 20 minutes to play.
Arsenal 2-0 Napoli – Quarter-final first leg
Arsenal cruised past Napoli in a dominant display against the Italian giants in the quarter-final first-leg.
In an impressive first-half showing, Ramsey finished off a slick passing move to open the scoring after 14 minutes, before Lucas Torreira's shot deflected in off Kalidou Koulibaly.
Napoli grew into the game into the second period and spurned glorious chances to equalise through Lorenzo Insigne and Piotr Zielinski. But Arsenal withstood the late pressure to ensure they would take a two-goal lead to Naples.
Napoli 0-1 Arsenal – Quarter-final second leg
Lacazette’s first-half free kick ensured Arsenal reached a second successive Europa League semi-final after a mature performance in a raucous Stadio San Paolo.
Cech saved well from Jose Callejon and Arkadiusz Milik had a goal ruled out for offside but, in truth, it was a comfortable evening for Arsenal in Naples.
Arsenal 3-1 Valencia – Semi-final first leg
Arsenal recovered to win the first-leg of their semi-final against much-fancied Spanish side Valencia.
Mouctar Diakhaby's header put Valencia in front but it didn’t take long for Lacazette to turn the game on its head.
A seven-minute brace put Arsenal 2-1 up, and the score remained the same until Aubameyang scored a potentially pivotal late volley to make it three and open up some clear daylight between the two sides.
Valencia 2-4 Arsenal – Semi-final second leg
In a memorable European night, Aubameyang scored a brilliant hat-trick to set up an all-English final against Chelsea.
Valencia reduced the aggregate arrears early on through Kevin Gameiro, but Aubameyang equalised on the night with a well taken volley from 20 yards.
Lacazette put Arsenal ahead with a delicate finish, but Gameiro scored again to make it 2-2 at the Mestella Stadium.
However, the clinical Aubameyang scored twice more to put the tie out of reach and set the seal on of the great individual European performances.
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