Arsene Wenger reacts to Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid

Arsene Wenger delivers his verdict on Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in the Europa League on Thursday night

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta at Emirates Stadium
Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: The Sport Review

Arsene Wenger admitted his frustration at his side’s inability to kill the game after Arsenal were pegged back and held to 1-1 draw by 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final clash.

Alexandre Lacazette headed Arsenal into the lead at The Emirates in the 62nd minute after a goalless first half in which Sime Vrsaljko was sent off for two bookable offences.

Arsenal dominated both halves as Atletico Madrid were pinned back for most of the games, with Wenger’s men having plenty of chances to extend their lead.

However, the Gunners were caught out by a long ball and Laurent Koscielny’s error led to Antoine Griezmann getting through on goal and firing home a crucial away goal for the visitors.

“The result is not in line with a performance,” Wenger told his post-match news conference.

“It was against a team who defends well. Once we went 1-0 up, the task was clear for us – not to be caught on a long ball.

“I must say our fans were fantastic. Overall, we created the anticlimax by giving a goal away.”

Arsenal will now turn their attentions towards their trip to Manchester United on Sunday, before the return leg in Madrid next Thursday night.

“Yes [we can win the second leg],” Wenger added.

“It’s a special game. For us, the task is clear.

“Of course, you come out tonight with a bitter taste because we had a chance to be in the final tonight. That’s where the regret is.

The Gunners are currently in sixth place in the Premier League table and winning the Europa League is their last chance to qualify for the Champions League next term.

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