Arsene Wenger in his illustrious 22 seasons as manager of Arsenal has never lead the Gunners to European glory and his hopes of earning one ended yesterday when his team failed to score against Atletico Madrid.
Arsenal and Atletico head to the second leg with contrasting statistics. The London team has failed to win in any of their away matches this year while Atletico’s new Wanda Metropolitano was a literal fortress as no team has managed to score in that stadium since January. These stats remained to hold even after the match as Arsenal who had a few chances in the second half had failed to make use of them. After an initial miss it was Costa who gave Atletico the lead at the brink of half time when he managed to shield the ball from a pacey Bellerin and calmly chip past Ospina from a delightful pass from Greizmann. To make matters worse for the gunners, their captain Koscielny was taken off in a stretcher before half time for what is suspected to be a torn achilles and the French international is most likely to miss the world cup. Tempers were high and there was a lot of pushing and blatant fouls from both sets of players, most of which under normal conditions would be punished by a yellow card, but the official did his best to not let the game spiral out of control. Things would have been a lot more interesting if the Madrid manager was in the sidelines. Simeone was sent to the stands in the first leg of the semifinals and had to watch his team put on yet another impressive defensive display in their home ground. Shots from Lacazette and Xhaka were denied by Oblak and any build up plays by Ozil, Ramsey and Bellerin from the sides were negated thanks to Godin.
Atletico will now face Marseille in the finals of the Europa. This will be their third finals of which they have went on to win the former two. Wenger on the other hand would have no trophies to show for during his last season with Arsenal and has also failed to qualify for the Champions League two seasons in a row. Arsenal host Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday in Wenger's final home game.