Atletico Madrid 1-0 Arsenal

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Press conference

'I’m like the team, very sad and disappointed'

Arsene Wenger admitted he was "sad and disappointed" after we were knocked out of the Europa League by Atletico Madrid on Thursday night.

The 2-1 aggregate defeat means there will be no fairytale exit for the manager, and this is what he told the media after the game:
 
on the game…
I think it was a very intense game between two teams who gave absolutely everything. I would say the team who won tonight is Atletico Madrid. Congratulations to them and good luck in the final. I would say that the winner of tonight’s game is the clear favourite to win the competition.
 
on whether he felt the players offered enough...
We missed something in the final third because we had plenty of opportunities. if you look at the number of chances we created over the two games, the least you can say is that we can be very frustrated. In the first game, the tie should be over and in the second game, in the first half, we had plenty of opportunities but we always missed something in the final ball. They are a team who defends well. I believe as well we re a bit unlucky a few times because I think Gabi is happy to stay on the pitch, they broke up a few counter attacks voluntarily and it took the referee a while to give a yellow to Gabi and they were in situations where we could have been very dangerous., But overall they are a clever side who defends very well. Godin tonight saved five or six balls on crosses in amazing positions, great defenders.
 
on his emotions…
I’m like the team, very sad and very disappointed. Overall I’m even very frustrated as well. When you go out of a competition and give the performances we did over 180 minutes, it’s very difficult to take. Now for the club, they’ve got some time to think a out what to do for next season. I think there are some good ingredients in our team and they will bounce back. These players have quality and with the right additions in the summer, they have the ingredients to compete next year.
 
on Martin Keown's comments on Mesut Ozil's performance...
I don't agree with that, you will see that when you analyse his physical performance that he gave  a lot tonight. It was a difficult game, physically very intense and I am convinced that Ozil should not be now victimised by anyone because we did not score. We had plenty of opportunities in the two games and we lose as a team. I don't agree with that coming out now straight away. When you want to be listened to now, you always have to be extreme.
But football is more complicated and complex than that.
 
on whether he sees himself coaching in La Liga…

I have to recover first from that huge disappointment tonight. I’m very, very sad to leave the club with this exit. I will take some time to recover from that and then after I will see what I will do with myself in the future. I have no plans at the moment.

Post-Match Report

Atletico 1-0 Arsenal: How it happened

Granit Xhaka

WHAT HAPPENED

Diego Costa’s goal on the stroke of half-time condemned us to defeat in Madrid as we were knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday night.
 
We came into this semi-final second leg knowing we needed to score, and although we managed to get in behind the Atletico defence numerous times, we could not find the goal we craved as the hosts’ storied defence held firm.
 
In a tight first half of few clear-cut chances, we had our fair share of possession but found it difficult to find a way through the Atletico backline.
 
But our task was made even tougher when, with just eight minutes on the clock, Laurent Koscielny went down clutching his Achilles and had to be stretchered off in agony.

Laurent Koscielny

It was a dispiriting sight to see our captain in so much pain, but his replacement, Calum Chambers, settled quickly and soon made a fine tackle in the area to dispossess Costa.
 
Alex Lacazette then rounded Jan Oblak in the area, but with the angle too tight to shoot he elected to try to cut the ball back into the six-yard box – only for Atletico to scramble it clear.
 
The Spanish side were not at their best, but soon fashioned two good chances as first Koke fired wide and then Antoine Griezmann moments later.
 
It had been a low-key half, but right on the stroke of the interval the home side took the lead as Griezmann picked out Costa, who raced in on goal and beat David Ospina.

Atletico celebrate

It didn’t change our situation too radically as we still needed to score, and we had half a chance in the 52nd minute as the ball dropped kindly to Aaron Ramsey in the area but he shot wide under pressure from Diego Godin.
 
We were upping our intensity in search of an equaliser, with Ozil putting an inviting cross right across the face of goal and Granit Xhaka seeing a firm shot saved by Oblak.
 
Atletico still remained a threat on the break, and they had a golden chance to double their lead when Costa found Greizmann in the area but Chambers slid in to block the France international’s shot.
 
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – on for Wilshere – came close to equalising with a half-volley that flew just over, while Ospina had to make a sharp save to deny Fernando Torres in the closing minutes.
 
But try as we might, there was to be no way through, no fairytale finish to Arsene Wenger’s reign and our Europa League adventure was over.

Arsène Wenger

HOW IT HAPPENED

See how the match unfolded and get the standout stats with our play-by-play commentary

WHAT’S NEXT

We host Burnley on Sunday in what is bound to be an emotionally-charged day for Arsène Wenger’s last home game as our manager.
 
There will be a host of activities both before and after the game to commemorate his 22-year spell in charge, while we will also be saying goodbye to Per Mertesacker, Women’s captain Alex Scott and legendary kit man and founder of the Women’s team, Vic Akers.

Arsene Wenger

KEY INCIDENTS

With a place in the Europa League final on the line, there was tension in the air at the Wanda Metropolitano – and plenty of action on the pitch.
 
Here are the key incidents:
 
6 – Chance for Atletico as Costa beats Koscielny as is clear in the box, but he fires over from a tight angle
 
8 – Koscielny is stretchered off with an Achilles injury, Chambers on to replace him
 
24 – Another chance for Atletico as they break at pace, but Chambers dispossesses Costa in the area
 
27 – There’s a scramble in the area after Lacazette goes around Oblak and then tries to cut it back, but the ball in cleared
 
37 – Koke shoots just wide from the edge of the area for Atletico
 
38 – Griezmann takes it down in the area, spins and drags his shot wide of the far post
 
45 – Goal – Atletico break and pick out Costa, who races into the area and beats Ospina
 
52 – A chance for Ramsey as Wilshere’s mishit shot drops to him, but he slices his shot wide
 
59 – Greizmann curls a free-kick just wide
 
63 – Xhaka shoots from 25 yards and Oblak palms it around the post
 
66 – Big chance for Atletico as Costa buys space and lays it back to Griezmann, but his shot is blocked
 
72 – So close as Mkhitaryan pounces on a loose ball in the area and half-volleys it just over
 
88 – Ospina makes a sharp save from Torres

Video

Match video: Atletico Madrid v Arsenal

Our Europa League run came to an end as Diego Costa’s goal on the stroke of half-time condemned us to defeat in Madrid on Thursday night.

We needed to score to stand any chance of progressing to the final, but could find no way through an Atletico defence that has now kept 12 clean sheets in a row at home.

Click the 'Play' button to watch a one-minute bitesize cut from the game.

Press conference

What’s the latest on Laurent Koscielny?

It was a horrible sight for everyone connected with Arsenal to see Laurent Koscielny stretchered off the pitch in obvious agony on Thursday night.

What is the latest on the France international? This is what Arsene Wenger told the media after the match in Madrid:

on Koscielny…
It doesn’t look very good. His Achilles is… You can always hope for a miracle in the scan that he will have but the first signs don’t look very good.

on whether it’s a ruptured Achilles…
You will know that more soon. It looks like it could be that. I’m a bit cautious [about confirming that] because nobody could say that without looking at it clinically.

on Koscielny's World Cup chances...
That depends on the scan, if he has a ruptured achilles his chances are non-existent. We will know more after the scan.

Interview

Bellerin - We're really, really sad for the boss

Hector Bellerin

Hector Bellerin was understandably downcast after we were knocked out in the Europa League semi-finals by Atletico Madrid on Thursday.

Afterwards he faced the media and discussed the performance and the hurt he is feeling. This is what he said:

on how he’s feeling…
We’re all disappointed and sad. It’s very hard for us to take. We knew the result that we had at home wouldn’t make the second leg an easy tie. Atletico haven’t conceded a goal at home for a while now. We knew it was going to be really hard but we never gave up. We all tried but it just wasn’t meant to be. Everyone is really, really sad for the boss. He’s had an amazing career and we wanted to try our best for him to finish on the top. That’s what makes it even more disappointing for us.

on whether that makes it hurt more…
Yeah, definitely. For me personally, he’s someone who gave me the chance to play. The way he’s been towards every single player in the dressing room, it’s something that we all appreciate. As I say, we played with heart and really tried but it wasn’t meant to be.

on whether it sums up our away form…
When you look at how Atletico are doing at home, when they’re playing teams like Barcelona and Madrid, it’s very hard to blame it on our away form. We know it hasn’t been good at all this year but they’re one of the strongest teams when they play on their pitch, in their stadium, in front of their crowd. We need to look at the bigger picture. We played well at some stages, especially at home, and when you don’t punish them you leave everything up for grabs away from home. It’s really disappointing to go out like that.