The europa league semi-final had an electric atmosphere with both crowds buzzing for a potential step into the europa league final. Both sides came into the game on the back of some patchy European form. Arsenal drew 2-2 in Russia to put the gunners into the semis, nevertheless the score line was flattering with the gunners 2-0 down with 15 minutes to go. Atletico went through holding a 2-0 first leg lead over sporting by winning 2-1.

The fixture was very interesting for  the neutral.

The encounter began with the home side on the front foot with a lot of pace on the attack with welbeck and lacazette in particular.

Within the opening ten minutes lacazette squandered a wonderful chance by hitting the post with a virtually open goal, all be it outside the box.

The opening ten minutes also included a red card to vrsajliko after two yellow card offences. Atletico were infuriated as they thought vrsaljiko had no chance before getting sent for an early bath. Amongst the cafuffle manager Diego simione voiced his opinion maybe a little to clearly as he also got sent off and went up to watch the game from the stands.

The first half consisted of persistent arsenal pressure with no end product. Main chances fell to lacazette and Danny welbeck neither of who could finish their chances.

The second half resumed a similar style of play as the first half with Arsenal’s persistence finally paying off with a lacazette header that bounced into the ground and into the back of jan oblaks net which sent the emirates into a frenzy. The goal was very important in terms of the tie as arsenal going to Madrid with a lead and having not conceded and away goal was a positive for the gunners.

Arsenal continued to pile pressure and push the Atletico defence further and further back.

After bringing on two defensive minded players in Stefan Savic and gabi Atletico got back in the game. Antoine griezemann was in a foot race with Laurent koscielny before koscielny decided a poor attempted clearance and therefore gave griezemann a clear one-on-one chance with David Ospina who denied him amazingly only to see griezemann stab rebound into the back of the net via mustafis thigh.

The games tempo died down after  the late equaliser so the game finished 1-1 finely poised for the second leg in Madrid next week.

click here for  a fans review of the performance.
click here for what the manager had to say.

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