Arsenal v Atletico Madrid

1 of 8

Wenger - What we need to do to reach the final

We’ll need to score in Madrid if we are to have any chance of reaching the Europa League final.

After Thursday’s first leg, Arsène Wenger outlined what we must do if we are to do that against an Atletico Madrid side who haven’t conceded a goal in their last 11 home matches in all competitions.

on having possession but not making the most of it…
Yeah, it’s frustrating. We had not to force it. We were 1-0 up and the second goal could have come even in the last five minutes. You have to stay 1-0 up and after that, everything is open. They are a team who defend well, we know that. They have one of the best defensive records in Europe, you could see tonight that’s no coincidence. But we had the chances. Once they were down to 10 men, it destroyed a bit the flow of the game and it was not to our advantage.

on optimism ahead of the second leg…
The only advantage of that result is we know exactly what we have to do over there. We have nothing to lose. We have to go there and really play to win the game.

on his last European game at the Emirates and if there’s a feeling of anti-climax…
Yes, I must say our fans were fantastic. That’s what you want. Overall, yes we created the anti-climax by giving the goal away.

on if he took a second to soak up the atmosphere…
No, honestly no. I was focused on doing absolutely everything to win the game. Before the game I was like everybody. We knew that out of the four teams left, we played the favourite. I was more focused on making sure we won the game tonight. We started well, with good pace, good collective drive. The whole thing went wrong in the end but I had not much time to get a rest.


Watch the goals from the Atletico Madrid game

We were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Atletico Madrid in Thursday's Europa League semi-final first leg.

We started the game positively, and the visitors were reduced to 10 men after just 10 minutes, when Sime Vrsaljko was sent off for two bookable offences.

Alexandre Lacazette hit the post and Danny Welbeck was denied by Jan Oblak, but the teams went into the break level.

Lacazette gave us the lead just after the hour but Atletico scored a crucial away goal just before full-time when Antoine Griezmann scored at the second attempt.

Press the 'play' button above to watch both goals.


Arsène Wenger’s update on Santi Cazorla

Fans arriving early at the Emirates on Thursday night will have been treated to the sight of Santi Cazorla training on the Emirates Stadium pitch.

After the game, Arsène Wenger provided an update on Santi, and also commented on Jan Oblak’s performance.

on Cazorla training before the game and how he is…
He feels well. But he needs a full preparation and pre-season to try to come back. Will he come back, and where? I don’t know. Will he stay at Arsenal? I don’t know. 

on Oblak’s performance…
For me he’s one of the best keepers in Europe and he’s shown that tonight.

on Oblak being linked with Arsenal…
I leave that to other people now.

Post-Match Report

Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid: How it happened


A late Antoine Griezmann equaliser means we have it all to do in the second leg after a frustrating draw in our Europa League semi-final with Atletico Madrid.

Alex Lacazette gave us the lead in a match that we dominated against the 10-man La Liga side, but the late goal has put a different complexion on the tie.

We were expecting drama, and drama is what we got almost straight from the first whistle during a fast, furious and frenetic first half.

Within two minutes, Atletico right-back Sime Vrsaljko had been booked and not long after that he was given his marching orders for a late challenge on Lacazette.

Sandwiched between those incidents, the Arsenal striker had volleyed one shot narrowly wide and seen a close-range header clawed away by Jan Oblak.

It was combustible atmosphere and the visitors’ manager, Diego Simeone, soon saw red himself after remonstrating vociferously towards the referee as he called for Jack Wilshere to be booked.

Everything was going our way, but we just couldn’t find a way through as Wilshere sent a header straight at the Atletico keeper, before the electric Danny Welbeck was denied by the Slovenia international moments later.

Laurent Koscielny would soon slice one wide, before Nacho Monreal saw a volley whistle past the post as we continued to pile on the pressure.

Atletico would go close themselves before the first half was out, with Antoine Griezmann’s powerful shot beaten away by a previously underemployed David Ospina.

We continued to dominate after the restart, and finally had our reward just past the hour mark when Wilshere played a neat one-two on the edge of the arewa and sent a deep cross to the back post.

It was a crowded area but Lacazette muscled his way into position and diverted his header into the corner, sparking jubilant scenes inside the Emirates.

Lacazette went close to doubling our advantage in the 70th minute as he met Xhaka’s inswinging corner, but his glancing header flew inches wide of the far post.

It was one-way traffic but with seven minutes remaining Griezmann equalised after squeezing past Koscielny and Ospina and firing into the roof of the net.

Ramsey went close to restoring our lead with three minutes remaining but saw his header clawed around the post by Oblak, and in the end we had to settle for a share of the spoils.


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


We travel to Old Trafford on Sunday to face Manchester United, before jetting off to Madrid for the second leg of this Europa League semi-final.


We created chance after chance during a high-octane encounter at the Emirates, and here are the key opportunities:

6 –Xhaka wins the ball on the left and feeds Welbeck, who curls in a superb ball to Lacazette who volleys it just wide

7 – Monreal curls in a fine ball from the left this time and Lacazette’s header is palmed away by Oblak

16 – Lacazette heads over from a good cross from Monreal

18 – Ozil feeds Welbeck to the left of the area, and he cuts back on to his right foot and curls it towards Wilshere, whose header is straight at Oblak

21 – Welbecks plays a lovely one-two with Wilshere in the area, takes a touch and sets himself but Oblak makes a fine save

21 – The resulting corner is flicked on and comes to Koscielny at the back post but he slices it wide

31 –Ramsey swings in a ball from the right, Lacazette touches it on and Monreal volleys just wide

37 – Partey makes a fine run past three players before the ball breaks to Griezmann in the area, and his first-time shot is saved by Ospina

61 – GOAL – Lacazette rises highest in the area to meet Wilshere’s cross to the back post, and he sends his header past Oblak

70 – So close as Lacazette meets Xhaka’s corner and glances a header just past the far post

83 – Goal – Atletico equalise as Griezmann gets past Koscielny and Ospina and fires into the roof of the net

87 – Ramsey goes so close with a glancing header but Oblak makes a fine save to push it around the post


Welbeck - We have to take the positives

Danny Welbeck vies for possession against Atletico Madrid at Emirates Stadium

Danny Welbeck was understandably disappointed after we conceded a later equaliser against Atletico Madrid on Thursday night.

Afterwards, the England international spoke to the media about the game, creating so many chances and what we need to do in the second leg.

This is what he said:

on whether it feels like defeat…
Yeah, it’s disappointing to take the lead and then concede a goal right near the end of the first leg so we're disappointed with that

on conceding in the way that they did…
Well, we will do a bit of analysis on that and we’ve got to try to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Obviously going into next week we’ve got to be positive and this game is done now so we have to see what we can do. We’ve built a platform and we can build on top of that.

on having so many chances…
There were opportunities there for us to score and we’re disappointed with that but it gives us a little bit of positivity going into the second leg knowing we can create chances against a very good side

on Atletico’s defensive resilience…
We know we can score against them and we did it tonight so we’re positive going into that game and we know we can create opportunities. Hopefully we can put them in the back of the net.

on the pressure of winning the Europa League for the boss…
Going into the semi-final you don’t need any extra incentives. You want to get through to the final and as I said, we wanted to win before the manager announced he was leaving and we want to win after it as well. Seeing him at the end lift the trophy, that would be the icing on the cake! But we don’t need that extra incentive because we're professionals and that’s what we’re here to do.


Xhaka - How we must approach the return game

Granit Xhaka in action against Atletico Madrid at Emirates Stadium

With 10 minutes of Thursday’s Europa League semi-final first leg to play, it appeared as though we’d go into next week’s return match with a slender 1-0 advantage.

But then Antoine Griezmann scored a vital away goal, meaning we’ll require one of our own in Madrid next week if we are to reach the final.

After the match, Granit Xhaka looked back at what went right and what went wrong at Emirates Stadium.

on the game…
I think we played a great match… Atletico had one shot on our goal and scored. It’s unbelievable because we didn’t want that today, we wanted to have a good result at home. But it’s 1-1 and now we must focus on next week.

on if the team became tired at the end…
No, I don’t think so. We had a lot of chances. We were a bit unlucky with the amazing match of the goalkeeper of Atletico. A 1-1 draw isn’t the result we wanted but nothing is finished.

on how we’ll approach the return game…
We know we must score one goal. We must play like we did today, we must focus over 90 minutes, because you can see it’s always dangerous against Atletico. 

on the result being hard to explain…
I’m not one who has an explanation for it now. Just after the game it’s very disappointing. I think today we were clearly the dominant side over the 90 minutes. We made chances and I think other teams would have struggled to make as many as we did against Atletico. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the result - a 1-0 would have been enough - but we conceded a silly goal and now we have to go to Madrid and play exactly as we did today… if you look at the game today, you can see that we can compete against Atletico. OK, we had a man more, but we created chances even before the red card. We just need to approach the game in the same way, try to score and then win the game. 



Jack - We know we’ll create chances in Madrid

It was all looking so good, so positive... and then Antoine Griezmann struck to change the complexion of our tie against Atletico Madrid.

Having finished 1-1, we go to Spain next week needing to deliver a similar performance if we are to progress to the Europa League final.

Jack Wilshere is confident we will do just that, and this is what he told the media after the match:

on whether it feels like a missed chance…

Yes, but at the same time it’s only half-time. We knew what type of team they are – they were always going to try to hit us on the counter and I thought we dealt with that pretty well and defended really well. They had a bit of luck off the keeper but at this level that’s a massive goal for them. But at the same time we're confident that we can go to Madrid and with the chances we created tonight, we are definitely going to create some chances and hopefully we’ll put them away

on his thoughts when they opened the scoring…

I was thinking let’s go at them and really put them to the sword. We were dominant in the game and I felt we started really well and that helped us, but we should have scored early on so that it could settle us down a bit. We came out in the second half and knew it would be more of the same. They were going to sit in and try hit us on the counter attack and we had to be patient and move the ball. We done that and got the goal and I really thought we were going to get two or three, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Now we need to regroup and take the positives from tonight and take them to Madrid.

on Griezmann’s goal…

All I remember is Danny possibly got fouled – I don’t really know as I couldn’t see from where I was – and then their player hooked it away and all of a sudden Griezmann is in and you can’t give a player a player of his quality that time. They got a bit lucky with the bounce off David, but if you give a player like that an opportunity he’s going to punish you.

on Atletico not conceding at home in over three months…

We’re going to have to take the positives from tonight as we created loads and loads of chances and they have a great goalkeeper, but at the same time we found ways through their defence and we have to keep doing that. Hopefully a little bit of luck will be on our side on the night.


‘It’s a story we’ve seen before’

Arsène Wenger cut a frustrated figure when he sat down for his press conference after our 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Thursday.

Read on for a selection of the boss’ quotes, including his thoughts on the game and what we need to do to progress. 

on the game…
We produced a performance we wanted to produce, but the result is not in line with the performance. Against a team who defends well, we have not to give any chances away. Once we were 1-0 up, the task was clear for us: not to be caught on a long ball. They could not combine enough to come out and create a chance. The only chance they could have was on a long ball. We were a bit unlucky on the goal, because it was a foul on Welbeck. But we can only look at ourselves on tonight’s result because 1-0 is a perfect result at home. It was down to us after that not to make a mistake. We had 20 shots on goal, we have seen that against Manchester United, where we had 33 shots on goal and lost the game. It’s a story we’ve seen before.

on Atletico’s home defensive record and if Arsenal can score there…
Yes, because it’s a special game. For us the task is clear. But of course you come out tonight with a bitter taste, because we had the chances to be in the final tonight. That’s where the regret is. We were not clinical enough and unfortunately we gave a goal away which puts us in a very difficult position.

on if he’s spoken to Koscielny after the goal…
I haven’t seen it again. It’s not about blaming individuals. The whole team is very disappointed and down. For us, to have the chance to qualify is first to get the disappointment out the way and rebuild the desire and confidence to go there and qualify.


Premier League
Ticket Info
The Emirates FA Cup
Ticket Info


Premier League
The Emirates FA Cup