Arsene Wenger and his side settled for a less-than-ideal first leg result at the Emirates Stadium, leaving the Gunners in a precarious position as they head to Spain in the UEFA Europa League.
Arsenal will meet Atletico Madrid in their second leg semifinals clash on Thursday, as one of the two sides seeks a place in the final.
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The two clubs are currently level at 1-1 on aggregate, however, Antoine Griezmann’s vital away goal in the first leg has Atleti sitting in a comfortable position, especially after the visitors went down to 10 men early on in London.
The task won’t be an easy one for Arsenal, who needs at least one away goal of their own to advance.
Atletico boasts one of the top back lines in Europe, having conceded just 18 goals all season in domestic play, which ranks the lowest of any club in the top five divisions across the continent.
Meanwhile, in the other semifinal, Marseille has one foot into the final with a 2-0 lead over Red Bull Salzburg as the two teams head to Austria for the second leg.
The Ligue 1 side is unbeaten in its last six matches across all competitions, while pulling to within two points of second place in the French top flight.
It’s far from an impossibility that Red Bull can provide another comeback though this round, after having previously overturned a 4-2 deficit against Lazio in the quarterfinals with a 6-5 aggregate victory.
A game of back-and-forth at the Emirates Stadium set up an enticing second leg in the UEFA Europa League semifinals, while a Ligue 1 side positioned itself well to move into the final.
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Arsenal and Atletico Madrid settled for a 1-1 draw in London, as Antoine Griezmann’s late strike leveled the match for the Spanish side.
The Gunners looked on their way to a victory when Alexandre Lacazette‘s goal just beyond the hour mark put Arsene Wenger‘s men in front.
The result sets up a strong showdown for the two giants in a week’s time, although Arsenal will feel it left something on the table after racking up 26 shots (seven on target) on the day, particularly after Sime Vrsaljko was sent off after 10 minutes for the visitors when he picked up a second yellow card.
Meanwhile, Florian Thauvin and Clinton Njie gave Marseille a 2-0 win over Red Bull Leipzig, giving the French side the edge it sought out ahead of the competition finale.
The two clubs will meet again at Red Bull Arena Salzburg for the second leg.
Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Marseille 2-0 Red Bull Salzburg
Everything is left to play for in next week’s UEFA Europa League quarterfinals second leg, but Thursday’s action put a few teams in prime position to advance to the final four.
Premier League side Arsenal put four on Russian giants CSKA Moscow behind braces from Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette.
Ramsey’s second — a superb back-heel finish in the first half — helped put the Gunners ahead 3-1, before Lacazette’s second goal extended the home tie to 4-1 just minutes later.
Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid and Lazio each earned comfortable home wins, setting the Spanish and Italian sides, respectively, up to advance next week.
Atleti took the lead in the first minute of action when Koke gave the La Liga side the advantage, before Antoine Griezmann doubled the lead prior to halftime.
The closest finish on the afternoon came in Germany, where Red Bull Leipzig pulled off a 1-0 win over Marseille behind Timo Werner’s first-half stoppage time goal.
Arsenal 4-1 CSKA Moscow
Atletico Madrid 2-0 Sporting Lisbon
Lazio 4-2 Red Bull Salzburg
Red Bull Leipzig 1-0 Marseille
The Gunners had a little trouble early with their Russian opposition, but the Premier League side is cruising now heading into halftime.
Aaron Ramsey‘s first-half brace, coupled with a double from Alexandre Lacazette, has Arsenal leading 4-1 at the break, but it was the Welshman’s second goal that brought the crowd to its feet at the Emirates Stadium.
A wonderful floated ball in from Mesut Ozil found the path of Ramsey, who rose confidently and back-heeled his shot over oncoming goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
Second leg meetings are still a week away, but several teams took big strides towards the quarterfinals on Thursday in UEFA Europa League action.
Arsenal snapped a 13-match unbeaten run in all competitions for AC Milan at the San Siro, after Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey netted first-half finishes for the Gunners. The two away goals will now play an important role for Arsene Wenger‘s side, and presents a massive obstacle for Gennaro Gattuso’s men.
Atletico Madrid looks to be on its way into the quarterfinals after picking up a convincing 3-0 win at home over Lokomotiv. A trio of goals from Saul Niguez, Diego Costa and Koke helped propel Diego Simeone’s side on the day, as the two clubs prepare for a second meeting in Moscow.
Meanwhile, Marseille and Red Bull Leipzig each earned big victories at home against formidable opponents. The French side holds a two-goal lead over Athletic Bilbao, while Leipzig managed a 2-1 win over Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Christian Pulisic’s presence after halftime was key for Borussia Dortmund, but the young American wasn’t able to administer a comeback for the German side, as they fell 2-1 to Red Bull Salzburg in Germany.
Elsewhere, former MLS player Fredy Montero scored twice for Sporing Lisbon, as the Portuguese side picked up a 2-0 win against Viktoria Plzen.
Below are all of the day’s scores from the UEL.
AC Milan 0-2 Arsenal
Atletico Madrid 3-0 Lokomotiv
Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Red Bull Salzburg
Marseille 3-1 Athletic Bilbao
Lazio 2-2 Dynamo Kiev
Red Bull Leipzig 2-1 Zenit Saint Petersburg
Sporting Lisbon 2-0 Viktoria Plzen
CSKA Moscow 0-1 Lyon