Atletico Madrid punish wasteful Arsenal

Adjust Comment Print

As goodbyes go it wasn't supposed to be quite like this.

00If Arsene Wenger's Arsenal finale is to be a Europa League final in Lyon his side will have to do it the hard way after surrendering a well-deserved lead to draw against 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final.

Arsene Wenger was sent to the stands at Old Trafford in 2009 Arsenal is the love of my life.

For nearly a decade they vied for top spot - during a nine-year period starting just before Wenger took over, the only names scratched on the oversize trophy were that of Manchester United and Arsenal.

Marseille are desperate to reach a final that will be played in France, at the home of their bitter rivals Lyon, on May 16.

Simeone watched much of the game from the directors' box after he fumed on the touchline in the early stages following Sime Vrsaljko's red card.

Wenger truly changed the English game with his tactics and philosophies, and we wouldn't be seeing the football we do now if it wasn't for him.

'He was playing in our competition for years, ' said the United boss. We have a nice second leg at home [to come]. "We expect a euphoric atmosphere in the Wanda Metropolitano".

Wenger admitted the result had cast a shadow over his final European night at the Emirates. "We created the anticlimax by giving away the goal". "But it was one of the good performances and we have done pretty well against every one of the top teams and it's a question of getting points from this match because we need points".

The busy Lacazette, who was close to joining Madrid last summer before their transfer ban paved the way for Arsenal to step in, wanted a penalty but went down too easily under pressure from Diego Godin.

But the Frenchman, who was United's first choice to replace Sir Alex Ferguson in 2001, says he does not regret turning them down after meeting with then United chairman Martin Edwards.

Simeone, meanwhile, wouldn't be drawn on his sending off, diplomatically saying: "Referees make mistakes, managers make mistakes, footballers make mistakes".

We played the favourites out of the four teams left, and I thought we started well with good pace and good collective drive.

"To be honest it was 90 minutes in which my body was full of strong emotions, these players are basically heroes".

"Jan is the best in the world at this time", Griezmann said. They stood firm for 80-something minutes. Our fans were fantastic, and that's what we want.