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

PREMIER LEAGUE TOP GOAL SCORERS: ALEXIS SANCHEZ

Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez

PREMIER LEAGUE TOP GOAL SCORERS: ALEXIS SANCHEZ

Premier League 2016 - 2017 Top Goal Scorers: Alexis Sanchez

This season Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur; Romelu Lukaku, Everton; Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal; Diego Costa, Chelsea; Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester United; Jermain Defoe, Sunderland; Dele Ali, Tottenham Hotspur; Kun Aguero, Manchester City; Sadio Mane, Liverpool; and Eden Hazard, Chelsea are the top 10 goal scorers to date in the England Premier League. Arsenal’s top goal scorer this season to date is Alexis Sanchez. After Matchweek 27’s Round of EPL fixtures, Chelsea is in first place on the 2016-17 England Premier League Table. Tottenham Hotspur is in second, Manchester City is in third, Liverpool is in fourth, Arsenal is in fifth, Manchester United in in sixth, and Everton is in seventh.

Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal

Arsenal defeated by Liverpool without Sanchez

Liverpool goals: Roberto Firmino 9, Sadio Mane 40, Georginio Wijnaldum 90 +0:44

Arsenal goal: Danny Welbeck 57

With Alexis Sanchez starting the match on the bench, Arsenal lost to Liverpool. Gunners fans were baffled as to why Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger decided not to start Sanchez who is currently one of the highest goal scorers in the England Premier League. After the loss Wenger defended his decision to drop Alexis Sanchez against Liverpool by suggesting that he wanted to take a more direct approach. Wenger's decision to drop Sanchez to the bench for the trip to Anfield on Saturday was questioned but the Arsenal boss moved to clarify his stance before the game. Asked why he had replaced the Chilean with Olivier Giroud, after opting to play with a lone target man, Wenger replied, “We've decided to play with Welbeck and Giroud because we decided that we will have to fight in the air as well.”

Liverpool defeated the Gunners to move up to third behind Spurs. Liverpool Fc beat Arsenal 3-1 at Anfield Stadium on Saturday evening with goals from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum. Jurgen Klopp's side took the lead and opened the match scoring when Firmino responded to a cross by Mane and the Brazilian slotted the ball cooly past Gunners No 1 goalie Petr Cech. Mane then doubled the lead at 40 minutes firing the ball low into the net. Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck scored at 57 minutes putting pressure briefly on the hosts but Georginio Wijnaldum scored the third for the Reds to wrap up proceedings, scoring in injury time.

Wenger’s plan to win without Sanchez backfired, with Liverpool 2-0 up at half-time, andWenger decided to bring Sanchez into the action in the second half. Alexis helped to inspire a partial comeback, setting up Danny Welbeck to score for the Gunners. Sanchez has made 34 appearances for Arsenal this season and has scored 20 goals. There is speculation over the 28-year-old striker’s future at the Gunners after Juventus bid £25million for him. The Gunners know they may lose the Chilean forward in the summer transfer window so Wenger may have wanted to see how his side would do without Alexis, Rumor has it that Sanchez is demanding a huge pay increase to remain with Arsenallll. Sanchez's contract expires in the summer of 2018. Arsenal have offered Sanchez a contract worth around £180,000-a-week, a £50,000 per week increase.

 

Reportedly Alexis Sanchez wants to quit Arsenal at the end of the season after being dropped by Wenger for Saturday’s 3-1 defeat by Liverpool. The Chilean’s relationship with Wenger, the Arsenal coaches and his team-mates is reportedly after the Gunners Champions League loss to Bayern Munich with a bust-up after Sanchez stormed off the training pitch in the build-up to the trip to Anfield. Sources say Wenger has been unimpressed with Sanchez’s attitude, particularly his behavior during the 5-1 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last month. Sanchez publicly berated his felside at the Allianz Arena and he continued to point the finger in the dressing room after the game. Team-mates say Sanchez has become distant in recent weeks, and Wenger and his staff have not been happy with his attitude at the training ground since the Bayern trumping. The 28-year-old was confronted by angry team-mates after walking out in the middle of a training session last week, a possible reason why Wenger axed his leading goal-scorer from the starting XI at Anfield. Sanchez was clearly upset and distraught by the 5-1 humiliation at Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Wenger has spoken privately to Sanchez about his negative attitude. Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are expected to bid for Alexis, who has reportedly rejected Wneger’s offer of a new deal worth £180,000 a week. PSG are willing to pay him £300,000 a week.

 

Alexis Sanchez’s record to date at Arsenal:

 

 

  • Games: 128
  • Goals: 62
  • Assists: 40
  • Points per match: 1.91 
  • Honors: FA Cup

 

Squads

Alexis Sanchez was left out, with Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud starting for the Gunners.

Liverpool

Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Klavan, Milner; Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana; Mane, Firmino, Coutinho. Subs: Karius, Moreno, Lucas, Alexander, Lovren, Origi, Woodburn.

Arsenal

Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Xhaka; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Welbeck; Giroud Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Gabriel, Ramsey, Alexis, Walcott, Lucas.

Referee Robert Madley

ALEXIS SANCHEZ

Club: Arsenal
Number: 7 
Born: December 19, 1988
Age: 28  
Place of Birth: Tocopilla 
Nationality: Chile 
Height: 5’ 7” 
Weight; 137 pounds 
Position (s): Forward, Winger 
Foot: 
Manager: Arsene Wenger  
Stadium: Emirates 
Location: London, UK  
Nicknames: Gunners 
Leagues: Premier League

Honors:

Colo-Colo

Chilean Premiera División2006 Clausura2007 Apertura

Copa Sudamericana Runner-up: 2006

River Plate

Argentine Primera División2008 Clausura

Barcelona

La Liga2012–13

Copa del Rey2011–12

Supercopa de España20112013

UEFA Super Cup2011

FIFA Club World Cup2011

Arsenal

FA Cup2014–15

FA Community Shield20142015

International

Chile

Copa América20152016

FIFA U-20 World Cup Third place: 2007

Individual

Copa América Golden Ball: 2016

BBC Goal of the Month: October 2015

PFA Fans' Player of the Year2015

Football Supporters' Federation Player of the Year: 2015

Facebook FA Premier League Player of the Year2015

Kids' Choice Awards Favorite UK Footballer2015

Arsenal Player of the Season: 2014–15

Premier League PFA Team of the Year2014–15

Copa América Team of the Tournament: 2016

Serie A Player of the Month: February 2011

PFA Fans' Player of the Month: October 2014, October 2015

History

Alexis Alejandro Sánchez Sánchez was born 19 December 1988, known as Alexis, is a Chilean professional footballer who plays as a forward for English club Arsenal and the Chilean national team. After his debut season of first-team football with Cobreloa, Sánchez was signed by Italy's Udinese in 2006. Following successful loans at Colo-Colo and River Plate, he began playing in Serie A. In 2011, he was signed by Barcelona for £25 million, becoming the most expensive transfer in Chilean football history. Sánchez signed for Arsenal in July 2014 for a fee reported to be £31.7 million, making him the third-most expensive signing in the club's history after Mesut Özil and Granit Xhaka. Sánchez, also nicknamed El Niño Maravilla, has competed for Chile since 2006, and has earned 100 caps, making him the team's second-most capped player of all time after goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. With 36 goals, he is La Roja's second highest top scorer of all time. He played in two FIFA World Cups in 2010 and 2014 as well as three Copa América tournaments, winning two Copa Americas.

Barcelona (2011-2014)

Supercopa de España

La Liga

FIFA Club World Cup
UEFA Super Cup
Copa del Rey
Supercopa de España

Udinese (2008-2011)

Serie A Player of the Month (Feb. 2011)

River Plate (2007-2008)

Primera División de Argentina: 2008 Clausura'

Colo-Colo (2006-2007)

Chilean Primera División: Clausura

Chilean Primera División: Apertura

2017 ARSENAL TICKETS

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Milestones in Alexis Sanchez's Career

5 July 2007: Scores for Chile vs. Congo in the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2007 Canada.
7 September 2007: Scores his first goal for the Chilean National Team vs. Switzerland
19 October 2008: Scores his first goal for Udinese Calcio vs. Lecce in Serie A.
27 February 2011: Sanchez scores 4 of 7 goals as Udinese defeat Palermo.
13 March 2011: Scores last goal for Udinese vs. Cagliari in Serie A.
20 July 2011: Barcelona announces signing of Sanchez for $43 million as he becomes the most expensive transfer in Chilean football history.
29 August 2011: Scores first goal of his Barcelona career as they beat Villareal 5-0 in La Liga.
10 December 2011: Scores the equaliser vs. Real Madrid as Barcelona goes on to win the game 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
26 October 2013: Alexis scores the winning goal as Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2–1 at Camp Nou in the first El Classico of the 2013/14 La Liga season.
5 January 2014: Sanchez scores his first hat-trick for Barcelona in a 4–0 win against Elche CF.
17 May 2014: Scores his last goal for Barcelona vs. Atlético Madrid in the last game of La Liga.
28 June 2014Scores for Chilean National Team vs. Brazil in Round of 16, FIFA World Cup 2014.
28 June 2014: Misses the penalty kick as Chile are eliminated from the FIFA World Cup 2014.
10 July 2014Arsenal announces the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona for £35 million
4 July 2015 Wins Chile's first ever Copa America on a 4-1 definition against Argentina on penalties scoring the final and definitive penalty after a 0-0 draw
26 June 2016 Wins Chile's second Copa America ever in a row on a 4-2 definition against Argentina on penalties after a 0-0 draw
26 June 2016 Wins the Copa America Centenario Golden Ball for best player of the tournament

Arsenal Transfer News : Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez 2

Luis Suarez, FC Liverpool

Arsenal Transfer News : Luis Suarez

Manager Arsene Wenger has also been interested in hiring Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain.

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There is still an offer on the table for Higuain, however a move for Rooney this summer looks unlikely, and Suarez's future is uncertain. Liverpool reports they have yet to receive any bids for Suarez and are firm that the Uruguayan will have to ask for a transfer if he wishes to leave the Reds. Suarez was also linked to a move to Chelsea.

Suarez was blitzed by the media after his "biting incident" and has stated that he desires to leave England for Real Madrid.

A move within the England Premiership is unlikely for Suarez, since he has to serve the rest of his 10 game ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic.

Higuain has already started pre-season training at Madrid and the club have demanded £27m for the Argentine from Arsenal so they can pay Real Sociedad for Asier Illaremendi.

Andrey Arshavin Takes Heat From Arsenal Fans

Andrey Arshavin, Arsenal FC

The Gunner's poor start to the season sees them 15th in the Barclays Premier League after seven matches.

And Arsenal fans have vented their anger at the fall on Russian, Andrey Arshavin who has been heavily criticised by fans after scoring only one goal in his last 18 games for the Gunners.

The Russian international had a brilliant debut season for the Gunners in 2009 much to the delight of Arsenal fans.

Arshavin hopes that the fans support him this season to help him produce his best form.

“They should expect more from me, of course,” Arshavin told Arsenal Player.

“They should expect some more tricks, goals and unbelievable passes.

“To be honest I am still expecting more from me as well. But believe me, I do everything I can do.

“I just have to give everything I can at the moment, just on the pitch. I want to score more goals and bring my team to the title.”

Arshavin joined Arsenal from Zenit St Petersburg almost three years ago.

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