Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid

first_imgAnd the hosts were given plenty of encouragement early on, even when still up against Atletico’s full complement.Lacazette volleyed off the outside of the post and forced Jan Oblak into the first of a series of fine saves with a header from close range.Vrsaljko had been booked within two minutes for bringing down Jack Wilshere.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 London, United Kingdom | AFP | Arsenal’s hopes of sending outgoing manager Arsene Wenger off with a trophy suffered a major blow as they could only draw 1-1 with 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday.The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes at the Emirates Stadium, with Sime Vrsaljko’s early red card handing them the initiative.However, they were made to rue a host of missed chances before and after Alexandre Lacazette headed them in front on the hour mark. “You don’t have any idea how hard it is to defend and defend and defend,” said Simeone.“You have to have huge balls to defend for more than 80 minutes like that.”There was a far more highly-charged atmosphere for Wenger’s penultimate home game in charge than there had been for last weekend’s match against West Ham United.center_img Atletico coach Diego Simeone was also sent to the stands shortly after Vrsaljko’s dismissal, but the Spaniards resisted manfully and pounced when their chance came as Antoine Griezmann prodded home a vital away goal eight minutes from time.“I feel we produced the performance we wanted to produce, but the result is not in line with the performance,” said Wenger.“We can only look at ourselves for tonight’s result because 1-0 is a perfect result at home, it was up to us not to make a mistake…it is a story we have seen before.”Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week if Wenger’s last game in charge is to be the final in his homeland in Lyon on May 16.Moreover, Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League football next season also hang on becoming the first side other than Real Madrid to eliminate Atletico from Europe for five seasons.last_img read more