Atletico Madrid v Arsenal

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Arsenal train before flying to Madrid

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey in training before our game away at Atletico Madrid

The Arsenal squad travelled to Madrid on Wednesday afternoon - but they held one final training session at London Colney before departing.

Our club photographers were there too, and sent back these images.

Pre-Match Report

Atletico Madrid v Arsenal: The Brief

When contemplating the task facing Arsene Wenger and his players on Thursday night, it only seems natural to reflect on a similar tie, in this same city, back in February 2006.

The game, against Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals, may have been a first-leg clash in a different competition, but there are similarities with the challenge we face this time round.
Against Real, our chances of victory were rated at slim at very best. After all, no English side had ever won at the Bernabeu, we were facing the likes of Beckham, Zidane and Ronaldo, while our defence had been written off. What followed was an unforgettable 1-0 win, made famous by Thierry Henry's winner but also by a defiant, resolute defensive display.
Fast forward 12 years and we'll need more of the same if we are to silence the Wanda and progress to our third European final under Arsene Wenger. Creating chances wasn't a problem in the first leg, but is unlikely to be so easy this time around against a side that have not conceded a goal in 11 games at home.
It is another sizeable mission in Madrid, but if we can summon the spirit of 2006, we can pull off another famous win. Read on for our comprehensive pre-match briefing. We’ve got goals, team news, quotes from the manager, match facts, graphics and a chance to have your say.



Wenger on our tactics in Madrid…

“The advantage we have is the way to behave is clear: we know we need to score. We have a clear demand in our heads, we need to have a positive way. Will Atletico do the same? Will they have a more cautious approach and try to get us on the break? We have to be prepared for that as well."


Arsenal: Cazorla (calf), Aubameyang (cup-tied), Elneny (ankle)
Atletico Madrid: Vrsaljko (suspended), Juanfran (hamstring)



Tactical expert Michael Cox:
"Sime Vrsaljko’s suspension, combined with the absences of Juanfran and Filipe Luis through injury, means Atletico are without their three full-backs. Lucas Hernandez is a converted centre-back and will play on the left, while midfielder Thomas Partey fills in at right-back. Atletico’s defence remains very solid, but they’ll play without any natural full-backs." 

Thomas Partey


Wenger on his feelings ahead of the game...
"There is always a part of tension, as well with the experience I have there is uncertainty about football that creates the tension. That is normal. What you want is to help your team to have much certainty as possible, and belief. But of course in the game [between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich] we have seen it can go on both sides. That makes football great as well because it is unpredictable." 

Watch the Atletico Madrid (a) Matchday Show

Watch the Atletico Madrid (a) Matchday Show

Press conference

Wenger on Atletico, Simeone and Griezmann

We face a big task at the Wanda Metropolitano when we face Atletico Madrid in the second leg of our Europa League semi-final on Thursday.

The Spanish side have not conceded a goal at home in 11 games, but Arsene Wenger is convinced we can end that run.
This is what he told the media at the pre-match press conference:
on Atletico's defensive record at home...
The history has to stop somewhere, that is what we will try to do. In the first game we created chances but we didn't manage to put them in the net. We have to keep the same commitment [in this game], not focus too much on where we play, just how we attack and build the game up from the back.
on Diego Simeone…
I believe every manager has his own personality and he is doing extremely well in what he does. He tries to influence his team in a positive way. Many times he manages to do it. Last week he got sent off and only the referee can make that decision.
on facing Simeone and younger managers...
Honestly, I don’t feel too much my age. I don’t think Simeone is a young manager. He has huge experience already, he has won Champions League finals, he won the league in Spain and experiences before he came to Spain. I don't focus on going head to head. My job is to prepare my team and I just focus on my team. I forget completely who manages the other team and just try to get my team in the best possible shape to give a good performance.
on Antoine Griezmann...
I think Griezmann has done very well here, unfortunately he hurt us last week. He is a player I rate. He moved out of France at a young age, he made it away from home. He has an exceptional career and he looks like he loves the game, which I like in a player that is talented.

Press conference

‘I want to finish this love affair well’

With the end of Arsene Wenger’s near 22-year tenure on the horizon, the Arsenal manager was in reflective mood as he faced the media ahead of our game against Atletico Madrid.

The boss was asked about his own feelings ahead of this tie and what the future holds - and this is what he said:
on whether he could manage in Spain next…

I don’t know what I will do next season. At the moment, I would like to finish my job well. I believe a man has to give his best as long as he is somewhere, with all his commitment and energy. I would like one day to know I worked with all my energy until the last day. I would like to look back and think I finished this love affair well."
on how keen he is to leave the club back in the Champions League…
I did that for 20 or 21 years, I don’t even know, to be in the Champions League. I want of course to achieve it.
on whether he is excited he is about the game…
Yes, of course. In football you think you have seen it before but you can always discover new things. Every game surprises you - that’s why it is a new adventure. You never know what to expect. That’s why the excitement is the same.


Follow the Atletico Madrid game LIVE with us

Watch the Atletico Madrid (a) Matchday Show

Didn't get a ticket for Atletico Madrid away?

No problem - you can follow the game LIVE on

Tune in to the website from 7.35pm (UK time) for the following from our European semi-final second leg: 

  • Matchday Show, with live build-up and audio commentary from 8.05pm (UK time)
  • Live text commentary - featuring minute-by-minute updates and insights from our fans on Twitter
  • A short goals clip will be available from midnight Thursday

It's all free with Digital Membership - and remember, you can listen on the Arsenal App too!