Arsenal somehow managed to cede the advantage late on in Thursday night’s Europa League semi-final first leg at the Emirates.
The Gunners had taken control of the clash against Atletico Madrid courtesy of a fine Alexandre Lacazette header in the opening stages of the second half, the Gunners undid all of their hard work in the closing stages as their poor defence came back to haunt them once again.
Reacting to a long ball heading towards the Arsenal box, captain Laurent Koscielny was badkly caught out with Antoine Griezmann bearing down on his compatriot. Koscielny lost the ball and Griezmann was clean through, slotting home at the second attempt after his first shot was saved by David Ospina.
Shkodran Mustafi raced towards the goalline to try to prevent the goal, but slipped at the crucial time to leave Griezmann with a clear sight on goal (albeit from a narrow angle).
Just flicked the channel over to see #Arsenal concede the most Arsenal goal ever.
— Robin Bairner (@RBairner) April 26, 2018
Oh my. Sums up the last 5/6 years. Arsenal ?♂️?♂️
— Alan Cawley (@alancaw) April 26, 2018
Arsenal pushed forward in an attempt to restore their advantage and bring a lead to Madrid next week, but their efforts were in vain and Atletico, having played for 80 minutes with ten men after the early sending off of defender Sime Vrsaljko (and manager Diego Simeone), are very much in the driving seat ahead of next week’s second leg.
As if to further hammer home just how big an ask it will now be in what could be Arsene Wenger’s final European match as Arsenal manager, Atletico have conceded just four goals at the Wanda Metripolitano in the league this season.
1-1 on the night, and Arsenal have a mountain to climb.