Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described Thursday night’s draw against Atletico Madrid as the ‘worst possible result’ for his side.
The Gunners had led right up until the last ten minutes in the Europa League semi-final first leg against the Spanish side, but a mistake from captain Laurent Koscielny allowed Antoine Griezmann to barge past and give Atletico a 1-1 draw on the night and give Arsenal a mountain to climb next week.
Speaking to BT Sport after the match, a frustrated Wenger was of the belief that his side essentially gave away the chance to qualify for the final by their own hand:
“Of course it feels like an opportunity missed.
“We could have qualified tonight but it didn’t happen.
“Unfortunately we gave a goal away from nowhere but now we need to recover from the disappointment and prepare for the next game.
“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 over there.”
Arsenal dominated much of the proceedings at the Emirates, and their cause was helped with just ten minutes on the clock when Atletico defender Sime Vrsaljko was sent off for a second bookable offence. Atleti boss Diego Simeone was sent to the stands for his reaction, but the home side could not make their pressure pay off in an eventful first half.
Alexandre Lacazette finally broke the deadlock early in the second half with a fine header, but compatriot Antoine Griezmann levelled it up late on to ensure that Atletico left London firmly in the driving seat to book their place in next month’s final in Lyon.