Arsenal’s dreams of ending long term manager Arsene Wenger’s final season in charge with the one accolade he doesn’t have on his CV, European silverware, was dealt a crushing blow as they failed to put 10-man Atletico Madrid to the sword in last night’s Europa League first-leg semi-final at the Emirates. The Gunners dominated proceedings from the off and when Atletico defender Vrsaljko was sent off after only ten minutes it provided the Gunners with a perfect opportunity to gain the upper hand and an advantage heading in to the second-leg.
Arsenal created plenty of guilt edge chances, but Atletico stopper Oblak was in inspired form pulling off numerous world class saves. Arsenal’s dominance eventually paid off after 60 minutes when Lacazette converted Wilshere’s assist, but they failed to find the vital second goal and with eight minutes of normal time remaining Atletico star man Griezmann broke the Gunners hearts with the all-important away goal, and more importantly avoiding defeat. The Gunners are of course not out of the tie yet and have the attacking talent and ability to score plenty of goals, but as Atletico have not conceding a goal at home in their last eleven matches, it’s going to take a monumental effort from Arsenal to turn the tie around and qualify for the final.