EUROPA LEAGUE: ARSENAL 1-1 ATLETICO MADRID

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

EUROPA LEAGUE: ARSENAL 1-1 ATLETICO MADRID

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

Squads

Arsenal

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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EUROPA LEAGUE UPDATE

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 LiveFootballTickets.com to watch Arsenal compete on the road to Lyon, France!

   

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

Lacazette and Oblak

ARSENAL TICKETS & UPDATE

Arsenal v Doncaster Rovers - Carabao Cup Third Round

Arsenal youngster Reiss Nelson in action during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between the Gunners and Doncaster overs at Emirates Stadium on September 20, 2017 in London, England

ARSENAL NEWS

Arsenal target, Spanish La Liga superstar Antoine Griezmann is close friends with Arsenal’s new hiring Alexandre Lacazette who admits he has a cunning plan to persuade his “best mate” Griezmann to join him at the Emirates. Griezmann currently is the high goal scorer at Atletico Madrid. Griezmann was strongly linked with a sensational move to Manchester United last summer ahead of the 2017-18 campaign, but the 26-year-old superstar striker remained with Atletico following the club’s transfer ban. Lacazette who joined the Gunners from French League 1 club Lyon in July, is close mates with Griezmann from their time together with the France national side. Lacazette is keen for Lacazette to follow him to north London.

 

“Yeah, we are very good friends and have lots of fun,” said Lacazette who has had an impressive start at Arsenal. “Our nicknames for each other are Griezzy and Lacaz. If Griezzy visits me in London, I’m going to ask him to sign for Arsenal!”

 

Griezmann was Jose Mourinho’s priority target in the summer but Romelu Lukaku instead completed a £75million move to Old Trafford following Atleti’s transfer ban.

 

The Red Devils remain interested in Frenchman Griezmann and are reportedly lining up a £100m bid.

 

Meanwhile Arsenal legend Paul Merson issued a stern warning to Mesut Ozil saying the ‘penny has got to drop’ for Mesut Ozil to earn a starting place in Gunners manager Arsene Wenger’s line-up. Germany international Ozil has been limited to just 7 minutes of action this season but the Gunners have impressed in his absence anyway. Following the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool, Wenger’s side have won 6 of their 7 fixtures and earned a point at reigning EPL champions Chelsea. Ozil has been one of Wenger’s key players since signing from Real Madrid in 2013, but Merson says the 28-year-old Ozil should work harder for the Gunners.

 

Merson was asked if he thinks Ozil will work his way onto Wenger’s starting squad this campaign.

 

“Yeah, I do,” said Merson. “You look at any world class player in the world we’ve seen over the last 15 or 20 years, you know one thing they do? They work hard. ‘They’ve got the class, they’ve got the skill, they’ve got everything, but they work hard at the same time – that’s what makes them world class. Ozil doesn’t do that part of the game, and if you don’t do that you can’t play in this day and age. I’ve seen Zinedine Zidane and he worked hard. I played against David Beckham enough times at Man United and you couldn’t believe how hard he worked up and down the right wing – it was scary.

 

Coming up Arsenal faces Watford on Saturday 14 October in the Premier League, Crveba Zvezda  in the Europa League on Thursday 19 October,  Everton on Sunday 22 October, Norwich in the Carbao Cup at home onTuesday 24 October, Swansea on Saturday 28 October, and Crvena Zvezda in the Europa League at home on Thursday 2 November.

Former Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti confirmed he will not manage again this season. The Italian was sensationally sacked by the German Budesliga giant club last week just 10 games into the new campaign, after a 3-0 hammering by French Ligue 1 giants PSG. There is speculation that Ancelotti desires to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal with the Frenchman under pressure to deliver a top four spot this season at the Emirates to gain a spot in next season’s Champions League or leave the club. Wenger signed a two-year contract extension last summer. However Wenger could walk away from the club if Arsenal finishs outside the top four again. Ancelotti has decided he needs time off before re-entering high-level football management agan.

“For the next ten months I will rest, I will not coach any team,” said Ancelotti.

Bayern sacked Ancelotti amid reported unrest among his players with the club five points behind Bundesliga leaders, Borussia Dortmund. It appears that Ancelotti lost the confidence of his Bayern Munich players. Amid reports of secret training sessions and complaining Bayern stars abound since Ancelotti was asked to leave the giant German club.

“It is better to keep silent,” said Ancelotti when asked for further details of his sacking.

Last season Bayern won the Bundesliga.

ARSENAL TICKETS & UPDATE

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October 2017

English Premier League Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion Tickets Emirates Stadium - London, United Kingdom

14 English Premier League Watford v Arsenal Tickets Vicarage Road - Watford, United Kingdom

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November 2017

2 Europa League Arsenal v Red Star Belgrade Tickets Emirates Stadium - London, United Kingdom

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18 English Premier League Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur Tickets Emirates Stadium - London, United Kingdom

23 Europa League FC Koln v Arsenal Tickets RheinEnergie Stadion - Cologne, Germany

26 English Premier League Burnley v Arsenal Tickets Turf Moor Stadium - Burnley, United Kingdom

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December 2018

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January 2018

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March 2018

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April 2018

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Manchester United still in running for Europa League trophy and top four Premier League finish

Next Manchester United switch their focus back to the England Premier League travel across town to battle their noisy neighbors Manchester City in a not-to-be-missed Manchester Derby at Etihad Stadium on 27 April. Be there live to support your favorite team in the mouth-watering match that will help determine the top four sports on the EPL Table and who will get to compete in the 2017 Champions League Tournament.

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Manchester United v Anderlecht Europa League clash at Old Trafford

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Champions League and Europa League quarter-final draw results: Leicester City to face Atletico Madrid, Manchester United drawn with Anderlecht

The much anticipated UEFA Champions League and Europa League quarter-finals draw took place this morning with the following results:

Champions League quarter-final draw: Atlético Madrid v Leicester City; Borussia Dortmund v Monaco; Bayern Munich v Real Madrid; Juventus v Barcelona.

Europa quarter-final draw: Anderlecht (Bel) vs Manchester United (Eng), Celta Vigo (Spa) vs Genk (Bel), Ajax (Hol) vs Schalke 04 (Ger), Lyon (Fra) vs Besiktas (Tur).

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Europa League football Round of32 and Round of16 Draws

Europa League Round of 32 and Round of 16 Draws

The top two teams from each of the groups, which concluded on Thursday, have earned their places, including two sides that managed maximum points, FC Salzburg and two-time UEFA Cup winners Tottenham Hotspur FC, plus NK Maribor, the first Slovenian team to make it in European club competition.

Those 24 clubs are joined by the eight third-placed teams from the UEFA Champions League, including former European Cup winners SL Benfica, AFC Ajax, FC Porto and Juventus, whose home stadium stages the final in Turin on 14 May.

The draws for the round of 32 and round of 16 take place in Nyon.

There will be two pots for the round of 32 draw: the 12 group winners and the four best third-ranked teams in the UEFA Champions League group stage are seeded. They will be drawn against the 12 group runners-up and the remaining third-placed UEFA Champions League sides. No team can play a club from their group or a side from the same association. Games will be played on 20 and 27 February.

The round of 16 draw, made immediately afterwards, will be completely open with 16 balls containing 'winners of match 1' to 'winners of match 16'. Ties are played 13 and 20 March.

Seeded Clubs

Valencia CF (ESP, Group A)
PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL, B)
FC Salzburg (AUT, C)
FC Rubin Kazan (RUS, D)
ACF Fiorentina (ITA, E)
Eintracht Frankfurt (GER, F)
KRC Genk (BEL, G)
Sevilla FC (ESP, H)
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA, I)
Trabzonspor AŞ (TUR, J)
Tottenham Hotspur FC (ENG, K)
AZ Alkmaar (NED, L)
SSC Napoli (ITA)*
SL Benfica (POR)*
FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)*
FC Basel 1893 (SUI)*

Unseeded Clubs

Swansea City AFC (ENG, Group A)
FC Chornomorets Odesa (UKR, B)
Esbjerg fB (DEN, C)
NK Maribor (SVN, D)
FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (UKR, E)
Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (ISR, F)
FC Dynamo Kyiv (UKR, G)
FC Slovan Liberec (CZE, H)
Real Betis Balompié (ESP, I)
SS Lazio (ITA, J)
FC Anji Makhachkala (RUS, K)
PAOK FC (GRE, L)
AFC Ajax (NED)*
Juventus (ITA)*
FC Porto (POR)*
FC Viktoria Plzeň (CZE)

*Transferred from the UEFA Champions League

Europa League Schedule

Quarter-finals: Draw 21 March, matches 3 & 10 April
Semi-finals: Draw 11 April, matches 24 April & 1 May
Final: Wednesday 14 May, Juventus Arena

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