Arsenal footballer hits sports presenter by accident with ball in Europa League warm-up – Daily Mail
Arsenal and Chelsea fans celebrated their clubs’ triumph in the Europa League last night – but they won’t by the only ones waking up with a sore head.
Viewers watching the Gunners take on Valencia would have seen the shocking moment a female reporter was struck down by a ball Arsenal ball during warm up.
Showcasing the perils of pitchside reporting during a warm-up, Gol TV’s Mónica Benavent was unfortunately hit on the head from behind by an Arsenal star’s dodgy ball.
While the accident may have left supporters uneasy for Arsenal’s performance, they manged to secure their first European final in 13 years alongside London rivals Chelsea.
Bleary-eyed fans will now have to sort their travel plans for the final in Baku, Azerbaijan, while Tottenham and Liverpool fans are preparing to fork out thousands just to get to Madrid.
Gol TV’s Mónica Benavent was reporting from the touchline of the second leg tie between Arsenal and Valencia in the Europa League semi-final
It is believed she was accidentally hit by an Arsenal player during practice, but later tweeted to say she was ‘alive and kicking’
Jake Humphrey (left) was pitchside throughout the match with former Arsenal player Martin Keown (centre), who Humphrey joked was the target of the stray ball
Ms Benavent was in the middle of her touchline report before the match, when a pair of practising players overhit a shot which managed to knock her down.
As Ms Benavent disappeared from view, the camera had to quickly cut back to concerned presenters in the studio.
BT Sport’s Jake Humphrey was quick to post about the awkward incident he had watched happen from the sideline with fellow pundit Martin Keown.
‘This happened about 5 yards from us. I think they were aiming for Keown…’, he posted in a tweet.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a hat-trick at Arsenal beat Valencia 7-3 over two legs
Arsenal players celebrate on the pitch after easing past Valencia in their semi-final second leg
Benavent has since confirmed that she’s okay, saying she’s ‘Alive and kicking’ and joking that it’s nothing a bit of ibuprofen can’t fix.
Unai Emery’s side had been warming up on the Mestalla pitch ahead of their most important European match in years.
Despite going into the second leg leading 3-1 on aggregate, the Gunners still had a lot to prove after shock defeats of Barcelona and Ajax in the Champions League semi-finals in the last two days.
Eden Hazard scores the winning penalty to send Chelsea to the Europa League final
Chelsea celebrate winning the penalty shootout and booking their spot in Europa League final
A tense 1-1 draw in the first appeared to give the English side some much-needed confidence to take on Emery’s former club, with three goals coming from star forwards Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal went on to secure their place in the Europa League final with a 4-2 win (7-3 aggregate) against hosts Valencia.
Other English side Chelsea beat opponents Frankfurt in a penalty shootout after finishing extra time in their second 1-1 draw.
Former Arsenal player Martin Keown, pictured at the Europa League Semi Final last night said the quality of managers working in the Premier League had improved
Reporter Monica Benavent later tweeted to say that she was okay, and joked that it ‘nothing that some Ibruprofen wouldn’t cure’
Sportsmail’s Martin Keown said it was down to the quality of managers that now ply their trade in the Premier League.
‘The quality of our managers now, I think they are getting better all the time,’ Keown said. ‘It was almost an out of body experience when you saw those Liverpool players.
‘It is one night after another. At the weekend we still have Liverpool/Man City to look forward to.’
Germany are the only other country that have come closest to achieving the feat.
In 1980, German sides Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach faced each other in the UEFA Cup final, while Hamburg took on Nottingham Forest in the European Cup final.