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Antoine Griezmann double fires Atlético Madrid past Marseille 3-0 to Europa League glory

Spanish La Liga giant club Atletico Madrid won the 2018 Europa League, defeating Marseille 3-0 in the final in Lyon, France on Wednesday. Antoine Griezmann's early match-opening goal put Atletico on course to win as Marseille captain Dimitri Payet left the field in tears after picking up a first-half injury. After a strong start in Lyon, Marseille all-but gifted the opening goal to Griezmann as Gabi took advantage of a poor touch from Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa. France Ligue 1 club Marseille could not stop superstar Griezmann from adding his second goal early in the second half before Gabi secured a comfortable 3-0 victory for Atletico. The France international received Koke's pass and sent the ball over the onrushing Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to put the Spanish side in control. Gabi sealed Atletico Madrid’s third Europa League title in nine seasons by slotting home the third goal in the 89th minute.

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May 19 2018 Spanish La Liga Atletico Madrid v SD Eibar Tickets Estadio Wanda Metropolitano - Madrid

May 20 2018 Spanish La Liga FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad Tickets Camp Nou - Barcelona



Atletico Madrid vs. Arsenal FC  - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Second Leg

Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa scores the only goal of the UEFA Europa League Semi Final second leg match between Atletico Madrid and Arsenal FC at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on May 3, 2018 in Madrid, Spain

EUROPA LEAGUE: ATLETICO MADRID DEFEAT ARSENAL - Atletico 1-0 Arsenal (agg: 2-1) (Costa 45+2)

Diego Costa strike ends Arsenal’s bid for European glory

“I’m very positive, I believe in the team and I have a certainty that we will give everything we have in the tank tonight. We will take responsibility to build the game. We have to take the game to them and we know they will try to hit us on the break. But the only way to score is to play with the handbrake off,” said Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger before the match.

Arsenal FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Leg One

Atletico Madrid's No.1 goalkeeper Jan Oblak gets credit for another clean sheet

However, Arsenal was eliminated in the Europa League semis by Atletico Madrid. The Gunners Champions League hopes are gone along with any hope for Arsenal of finishing in the top four of the England Premier League Table. It will be a tough end to Arsene Wenger's tenure at the Emirates as he retires at the end of the season.

Giant Spanish La Liga club Atletico Madrid is through to the Europa League final, and Arsenal's hopes of winning the Europa League Cup in order to secure a Champions League spot next season have vanished. After a 1-1 draw in the first leg at the Emirates a week ago, it was a Diego Costa goal late in the first half that sent the Spanish team through with a 1-0 victory. Atletico will battle Marseille in the final after the French club scored an extra-time goal at Red Bull Salzburg to go through 3-2 on aggregate. In a match that saw both teams with plenty of opportunities to score, Costa took his great chance off a fine ball from Antoine Griezmann just before the break. The victory was deserved by Diego Simeone's side, as the manager watched the match from the stands due to suspension. But for Arsenal, it's a defeat that really hurts, ending their goal of qualifying for the Champions League next season. It will be a new era at Arsenal next season with Arsene Wenger stepping down, and the team is currently on track to qualify for next season's Europa League while looking for their new manager.

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal were dumped out of the Europa League by Chelsea star Diego Costa who scored the only goal of the match just before half-time following a mix up in the Arsenal defense. The Gunners rallied in the second half but couldn’t find an elusive equaliser. Speaking after the game, Wenger who is leaving Arsenal after 22 years talked about the loss and his feelings.

"It was a similar game to what we had in the first leg,” said Wenger. “The dangerous situations we created were there but we missed something in both boxes. We played a good team and good luck to them in the final but we feel we did enough to go through. We didn’t manage the important moments of either game well. We were 1-0 up with ten minutes to go at home, and then we conceded a stupid goal. Tonight we looked OK and then conceded on the counter-attack. The suffering is tough tonight. Atletico played with fear in the first half that if we score they could be out, but once they scored they played with a cushion. We lost possession and Diego Costa is one of the best strikers in the world. It is very very sad but unfortunately, you have to go through this in our game. It can be very cruel but sometimes it is nice. The suffering is tough tonight."

After hosting Burnley on Sunday, Wenger’s men face Leicester next Wednesday before an away game at Huddersfield to finish their season.

Atletico Madrid vs. Arsenal FC  - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Second Leg

Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa

Atletico Madrid v AS Roma - UEFA Champions League

Atletico Madrid's Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak, Atletico Madrid's French defender Lucas Hernandez, Atletico Madrid's Uruguayan defender Jose Gimenez, Atletico Madrid's Brazilian defender Filipe Luis, Atletico Madrid's Ghanaian midfielder Thomas, Atletico Madrid's Spanish forward Fernando Torres, (L-R) Atletico Madrid's French forward Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid's Argentinian midfielder Augusto Fernandez, Atletico Madrid's Spanish midfielder Saul Niguez, Atletico Madrid's Spanish midfielder Koke and Atletico Madrid's Belgian midfielder Yannick Ferreira-Carrasc

Europa League Semifinals Squads for Atletico Madrid v Arsenal

Atletico: Oblak; Partey, Gimenez, Godin, Lucas; Vitolo, Saul, Gabi, Koke; Costa, Griezmann. Subs: Werner, Filipe Luis, Savic, Olabe, Torres, Correa, Gameiro

Arsenal: Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Xhaka, Wilshere; Welbeck, Ozil; Lacazette Subs: Cech, Iwobi, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Nketiah, Mkhitaryan

Referee: G Rocchi (Italy)

“I came out of the first game with huge frustration and also with belief that we created so many chances that we have a good opportunity to go away and do the same again. We can score against any team in the world if we play well, “ said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger before the game.

Atletico Madrid vs. Arsenal FC  - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Second Leg

Atletico Madrid side celebrates victory against Arsenal in Europa League semifinal


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Europa League Semifinals Results, Tickets

Atletico 1, Arsenal 0 (2-1)
Marseille 0, RB Salzburg 1 (2-1)

MAY 16 2018 UEFA Europa League Final 2018 Tickets Parc Olympique Lyonnais - Lyon, France

Atleti v Marseille tickets are selling fast. 569 Europa League Final tickets available from £365.75

Atletico Madrid vs. Arsenal FC  - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Second Leg

Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa


Arsenal FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Leg One

Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring his sides late first and equalizing goal during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final leg one match between Arsenal FC and Atletico Madrid at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Leg One

Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette opened the match scoring


Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid – UEFA Europa League Semifinals first leg tie

Arsenal goal: Lacazette (61' minutes)

Atletico Madrid goal: Griezmann (82' minutes)

Vrsaljko (Dismissed at 10' minutes)

Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side wasted a golden opportunity to put themselves well ahead on the road to the 2018 Europa League Final after conceding a devastating late equalizer against 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final tie. The Gunners led 1-0 through Alexandre Lacazette and were in control against a Spanish side playing with 10 men from the 10th minute. But defensive problems allowed La Liga superstar Antoine Griezmann to score giving the visitors an away goal and the advantage going into next week’s second leg in Madrid, Spain. 

"Looking at the performance and the way the game went, it was the worst possible result for us, but we have to go there in a positive mood and qualify,” said Arsene Wenger. “Of course it feels like an opportunity missed. We could have qualified tonight but it didn't happen. Their keeper made a lot of saves and they showed their quality by scoring with one chance. What matters is that we go there with the belief to do it."

Premier League giant club Arsenal were in control for almost the entire game after Atletico defender Sime Vrsaljko was dismissed for two yellow cards in the first 10 minutes and the visitors were down to 10 men. With Atletico's furious manager Diego Simeone sent to the stands shortly afterward for yelling at the referees, the Spanish side survived unscathed to half-time. But Lacazette nodded in Jack Wilshere's cross just after the hour to edge the Gunners closer to a Europa League final send-off for outgoing manager Arsene Wenger.

But with eight minutes remaining Griezmann latched onto a long ball forward, shrugged off Laurent Koscielny and sent the ball into the net at the second attempt for an away goal to swing the tie Atletico's way going into the second leg in Madrid next Thursday

Arsenal's fans know their team now must breach an Atletico defense that has conceded just four times at home in Spanish La Liga this season to have any hope of extending Arsene Wenger's 22-season spell in charge to the final on 16 May.

Arsenal FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Leg One

 Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Oblak is one of the best in the world

Gunners boss Arsène Wenger talked about his week and their home record - the second best in England - they have only two points fewer than Manchester City (having played a game more). They are currently 12th in the Premier League away table.

“For me personally, very busy. But I try to keep the priorities right. I live for competition and comp is winning games. Just to focus on your job and try to do as well as you can as long as you’re here. The fans will be behind the team, I don’t worry about that. Overall our home season has been very strong. If you look at our results at home, they’ve been outstanding. So let’s just continue that in Europe as well,” said Wenger.

Wenger was asked about the decision to start with Ospina in goal, rather than Cech:

“Every decision is tough,” added Wenger. “I believe that Petr Cech just comes back from injury, I don’t feel he’s completely recovered from it. He takes a lot on his chin because he suffers still a little bit. He’s available, but I think Ospina has played the whole competition and has done really well recently. It’s a difficult decision.”

Are they relying on Ramsey and Lacazette to score?

“Ideally, honestly, I don’t mind who scores as long as we score. The target is just to score and not to concede, because the weight of the away goal is huge. You want everybody to contribute, to defend well, not our strongest point this season. We have to use our strengths and maybe everybody to push harder, to do work they don’t normally like to do, continued Wenger.”

And about his opinion of Atletico Madrid?

“Look, they are the second team in Spain, they are above Real Madrid. What we need to do is stop their counter-attacking, keep Griezmann quiet because he’s a very dangerous player, and cope with the challenge the give us. I think in the Europa League the physical challenge is greater than the Champions League, and we play a team who can run.”

Arsenal FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Leg One

Greizmann has 20 goals in 25 games for Atletico Madrid in 2018



Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Xhaka, Wilshere; Welbeck, Özil; Lacazette. Subs: Cech, Holding, Iwobi, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Nketiah.

Atlético Madrid

Oblak; Vrsaljko, Gimenez, Godin, Lucas; Correa, Saúl Niguez, Partey, Koke; Gameiro, Griezmann. Subs: Werner, Torres, Gabi, Savic, Diego Costa, Vitolo, Olabe.

Arsenal FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Leg One

Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid goes past goalie David Ospina of Arsenal to score his sides first goal during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final leg one match between Arsenal FC and Atletico Madrid at Emirates Stadium.

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The Europa League trophy Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will hope to end his Gunners’ reign with was stolen and quickly recovered on Friday. Appearing at a sponsor’s event at Leon in Mexico, the silverware went missing, only to be reclaimed shortly after. The trophy will be presented to one of Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Red Bull Salzburg or Marseille after the Europa League final in Lyon and gratefully did not suffer any damage. Last minute Arsenal v Atletico Madrid tickets are still available for sale from to watch Arsenal compete on the road to Lyon, France!



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APR 26 2018 Europa League Arsenal v Atletico Madrid Tickets Emirates Stadium - London, United Kingdom 
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UEFA Europa League Final 2018 Tickets Parc Olympique Lyonnais - Lyon, France

Arsenal FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Leg One

Lacazette and Oblak

CL: Real Madrid, Atl Madrid, Monaco and Juve go through

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Real Madrid CF v FC Bayern Muenchen at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 18, 2017 in Madrid, Spain.


Last year, Real Madrid's Champions League Final 2016 victory against Atletico Madrid was their 11th European Cup triumph. Holders Real Madrid will face arch-rivals Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League, a repeat of last year's final.

Zinedine Zidane's side will fight to become the first club to retain the trophy in Champions League history in the final on 3 June in Cardiff.

French side Monaco battle giant Italian Serie A club Juventus in the other last-four tie.

The first legs will be played on 2 and 3 May, with the return legs taking place the following week.

Real Madrid aims to win Europe's premier club competition for a 12th time, after beating German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich 6-3 on aggregate to reach the last four. And Spanish La Liga titans Atletico Madrid ended Premier League 2016 champions Leicester City’s fairytale run in Europe, defeating the Foxes 2-1 over two legs. Juventus claimed an impressive 3-0 aggregate win against Barcelona, while Monaco defeated Borussia Dortmund 6-3..

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 100 goals in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final

Real Madrid and Portugal superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first UEFA Champions League goal in 2007 and his first hat-trick against Ajax in 2012. Ronaldo became the top scorer in UEFA club competition against Schalke in 2015. Having become the first player to score 100 goals in UEFA club competition in Real Madrid’s first leg of their tie against Bayern München last week, Ronaldo made it five goals in the second tie by scoring a hat trick to lead Real Madrid into the semi-finals once again in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final – the first player to reach that mark.

Scored for:
15 Manchester United
85 Real Madrid

How scored:
68 Right foot 
17 Header
15 Left foot

Types of goal:
77 open play
12 free-kicks
11 penalties

When goals scored:
45 First half
52 Second half 
3 Extra time

Where goals scored them from:
59 inside penalty area (but not 5-metre box)
25 5-metre box
16 outside penalty area

Goals scored home or away:
51 Home
47 Away
2   Neutral venue

What stage were goals scored:
51 group stage
20 quarter-final
17 round of 16
10 semi-final
2 final

What season were goals scored:
17 2013/14
16 2015/16
12 2012/13
10 2011/12, 2014/15
8 2007/08
7 2009/10, 2016/17*
6 2010/11
4 2008/09
3 2006/07
*Up to quarter-finals second leg

Teams scored against:
9 Bayern
7 Ajax, Schalke
6 Galatasaray, Malmö
5 Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus
4 Borussia Dortmund, Lyon, Marseille
3 CSKA Moskva, Dynamo Kyiv, København, Sporting, Wolfsburg
2 AC Milan, APOEL, Arsenal, Basel, Ludogorets Razgrad, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Zürich
1 Auxerre, Chelsea, Atlético Madrid, Internazionale Milano, Liverpool, Manchester City, Porto

Goalkeepers scored against the most:
9 Manuel Neuer, Johan Wiland
6 Fernando Muslera
5 Gianluigi Buffon, Andriy Pyatov, Kenneth Vermeer

Assists by:
11 Karim Benzema
7 Gareth Bale
6 Marcelo
4 Ángel Di María, Ryan Giggs

Clubs in the Champions League semi-final draw

Atlético Madrid
Real Madrid

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Cristiano Ronaldo concentrates for a free-kick during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Real Madrid CF v FC Bayern Muenchen at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 18, 2017 in Madrid, Spain.

Lionel Messi Out For 6-8 Weeks : Barcelona Tickets

Lionel Messi 8

Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona

Lionel Messi Out For 6-8 Weeks

Barcelona superstar striker Lionel Messi has been ruled out for between six and eight weeks due to a hamstring injury.

Messi limped off early in Barca's win over Real Betis on Saturday.

El Caliente also has a muscle tear in his left hamstring.

Messi has scored 14 goals in as many games for Barcelona to date this season.

He also injured his thigh against Almeriain September.

"The club's medical services confirmed that Leo Messi has a torn hamstring muscle in his left thigh and is expected to miss the next six to eight weeks," said a Barca press release. "The first phase of Messi's recovery will be covered in Barcelona and he will then travel to Buenos Aires."

The current World Player of the Year will miss Argentina's friendlies against Ecuador and Bosnia-Hercegovina in November as well as a number of domestic La Liga matches.

"He needs to take as much time as he needs, to recover and get back to his level. We need him at his best," Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas told Spanish television.

"I had something similar at Arsenal. You think you're OK, but you're not.

"I had this injury and I wasn't right for up to a year and a half - it's a really frustrating injury.

"You need to take whatever time you need because if you don't it won't heal properly."

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