rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Europa League PHOTOS: How 10-man Atletico punished wasteful Arsenal

Europa League PHOTOS: How 10-man Atletico punished wasteful Arsenal

April 27, 2018 09:58 IST

IMAGES from an exciting Europa League semi-final first leg match played at Emirates Stadium on Thursday 

Arsenal's Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny react after their Europa League Semi Final First Leg match against Atletico Madrid at Emirates Stadum on Thursday

IMAGE: Arsenal's Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny react after their Europa League Semi Final First Leg match against Atletico Madrid at Emirates Stadum on Thursday. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

A late equaliser from French striker Antoine Griezmann gave 10-man Atletico Madrid a precious away-goal advantage over Arsenal as the first leg of their Europa League semi-final at the Emirates ended 1-1 on Thursday.

 

Arsenal were given a huge boost after 10 minutes when Atletico defender Sime Vrsaljko was sent off for stamping on Alexandre Lacazette's foot, and Atletico coach Diego Simeone was sent to the stands for his furious reaction to the decision.

Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann celebrates after scoring the equaliser against Arsenal 

IMAGE: Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann celebrates after scoring the equaliser against Arsenal. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The Premier League side dominated possession but missed a number of clear chances, with Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak making several fine saves before Lacazette broke the deadlock in the 61st minute.

Atletico Madrid's Sime Vrsaljko is shown a red card

IMAGE: Atletico Madrid's Sime Vrsaljko is shown a red card. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The French forward headed Jack Wilshere's cross down into the corner of the net to give manager Arsene Wenger hope of winning a trophy in his last season at the club and taking his last chance to get the team back into the Champions League.

Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Atletico Madrid 

IMAGE: Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Atletico Madrid. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Atletico seized back the initiative in the 82nd minute, however, when Griezmann sped past Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny, collected his rebounded shot off keeper David Ospina and calmly lifted the ball into the roof of the net.

“We come out tonight with a bitter taste,” Wenger told reporters after the penultimate home game of his 22-year reign at Arsenal.

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka and Atletico Madrid's Lucas Hernandez are restrained as they clash 

IMAGE: Arsenal's Granit Xhaka and Atletico Madrid's Lucas Hernandez are restrained as they clash. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

“You have to stay 1-0 up and after that everything is open,” the Frenchman added.

"We created the anticlimax by giving away the goal.”

Wilshere also rued the missed chances for Arsenal, who are playing in their first European semi-final in nine years. Atletico have reached the Champions League final twice in the last four years and won the Europa League in 2010 and 2012.

"It's definitely not the result we wanted, but the performance was good so we have to take confidence from that and take that to the away leg. If we create chances then we've got to put them away," Wilshere said.

The match referee sends Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone to the stands 

IMAGE: The match referee sends Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone to the stands. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The teams head to Madrid for the second leg next week when Atletico, second in Spain's La Liga, should be able to recall talismanic striker Diego Costa who scored three times against Arsenal in six games while he was at Chelsea.

Simeone praised the courage of his players.

“They are basically heroes," the Argentine said.

Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey is pulled back by Arsenal's Jack Wilshere

IMAGE: Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey is pulled back by Arsenal's Jack Wilshere. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

"They stood firm for eighty-something minutes.

“The team responded to the red card with some fantastic defensive work and I think that will go down in the history of Atletico Madrid.”

Source:
© Copyright 2018 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.