Arsenal to face Atletico Madrid in Europa League semis

Mkhitaryan is set to return to action within two weeks according to manager Arsene Wenger

Mkhitaryan is set to return to action within two weeks according to manager Arsene Wenger

Prior to Danny Welbeck's goal in the 75th minute, is was an awkward and anxious game for Arsenal, whose players gave the impression that this game taking place late in the Moscow night was well past their bedtime.

The Champions League qualification that comes with it is a lucrative silver lining worth celebrating.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said it was a sign European competition is becoming more evenly matched.

He has been superb for Arsenal in the competition this season and could now be fit for the semi-finals.

But while Ernesto Valverde's men incredibly squandered what seemed to be an unassailable lead, Arsenal didn't as they snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat.

Ramsey, who is now Arsenal's longest serving first team player after the January departure of Theo Walcott, had previously netted a brace in the first leg.

Fortunately, like Ramsey, the Englishman was able to play on.

Arsenal are sixth in the Premier League, 13 points adrift of Tottenham in fourth.

Asked who he fancies in today's semi-final draw, Wenger replied: "Everybody speaks about Atletico Madrid, they look strongest on paper from now on, but you must recognise as well the result that Salzburg has achieved".

But the Italian giants had other ideas.

"They scored the second and Ignashevich had a chance to score goal three, then we were a bit on the ropes".

More news: Europa League Round-up: Arsenal, Atletico reach semi-finals, RB Salzburg stun Lazio

Ospina twisted an ankle in training ahead of the first leg against CSKA and was initially ruled out for two or three weeks. The reaction from the Arsenal defence was non-existent again.

Arsene Wenger has paid tribute to Arsenal's "exceptional" Danny Welbeck and his ability to deliver when the team are up against it. It dropped out of UEFA Europa League after the 2:2 draw on Thursday.

Eric Abidal draws Atletico Madrid. "You can feel it", the goalkeeper said.

"Even if it was not an easy game, we are happy to go into the semi-final".

At 35, the Czech worldwide is in his twilight years, and is certainly on borrowed time at the top level.

In added time, Arsenal did equalize.

Wenger brought on Calum Chambers for the ineffective Jack Wilshere in a bid to strengthen his side's defensive set-up, but more lacklustre work in their own box allowed 38-year-old Sergei Ignashevich to volley inches wide of the left-hand post.

"In fact if you look at CSKA they have two regular players in midfield who play for Russian Federation so they have the best midfield in the country".

The home side entered the break, buoyed by the confidence of having pulled a goal back, and came out in the second half intent on building on their lead.

Moscow simply couldn't deal with the Gunners slick movement, with Mohamed Elneny providing the killer ball for Welbeck to slide home.

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