The fairytale ending of a Europa League final for Arsene Wenger will not be happening after Arsenal suffered in a second leg heavily laden with deja vu from last week’s game against Atletico Madrid. Despite creating the better chances in the first half the Gunners were left to rue another defensive lapse which allowed Costa to score on the stroke of halftime.
With an extremely tough task awaiting Arsenal in the Spanish capital this evening, Arsenal fans will be hoping that things go our way tonight instead of the disappointing turn of events that saw Atletico Madrid leave the Emirates stadium last week with an undeserved 1-11 draw.
Some Arsenal fans and football pundits will look harshly on those like the former Gunners defender Martin Keown who say that Arsenal just need a bit of luck to progress to the Europa League final at the expense of Atletico Madrid tonight, but that is just the way it is.
The chances are that Arsene Wenger will select the same Arsenal centre backs to face Atletico Madrid in the Spanish capital tonight, but after the central pairing of Mustafi and Koscielny produced a Keystone Cops kind of moment to allow Antoine Griezmann to score from out of nowhere and put Arsenal on the back foot in this Europa League semi-final, I think he should at least consider changes to our back line.
It is perhaps telling that Arsene Wenger went as far back as 2006 in his Arsenal career to recall one of the best European nights of his long reign as manager of the Gunners. We certainly have not had too many glorynights in recent years, especially in the knockout stages of the Champions League which have become extremely short and painful times for us Gooners over the last few years.
I know that Arsene Wenger has suggested that his Arsenal team that will face Manchester United in the Premier League today will consist of some young players who need playing opportunities, as there is little riding on the outcome at Old Trafford, I would be surprised if we did not see a pretty strong side selected by the Frenchman.
Now I am not saying that Arsenal will be in the Europa League final or that we are favourites to get past Atletico Madrid in Spain next week, but come on Gooners, some people are acting like we got a pasting. So here are some reasons to believe that we can make it to the Europa League final.
How frustrating was that for Arsenal? We had a great chance against a 10 man Atletico Madrid side and produced enough chances to win 10 games but after taking the lead through Lacazette the Gunners gave up a soft as you like away goal to put us bang under pressure for the return leg.