Apr 26, 2018 at 8.05pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Arsenal
1-1
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Lacazette (61')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Griezmann (82')
Vrsaljko (2')
Vrsaljko (10')

Live Commentary: Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid - as it happened

Live Commentary: Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid - as it happened
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as 10-man Atletico Madrid claim a 1-1 draw at Arsenal in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie.

Atletico Madrid have taken charge of their Europa League semi-final with Arsenal courtesy of a 1-1 draw being recorded in Thursday's clash at the Emirates Stadium.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men during the early stages after Sime Vrsaljko picked up two yellow cards and Alexandre Lacazette eventually gave Arsenal the lead just after the hour mark.

However, Antoine Griezmann found an equaliser with eight minutes remaining and Arsenal must now score in Madrid next week to maintain any hope of progression through to the final.

Find out how all of the action unfolded in North London courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.


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7.05pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the first leg of the Europa League semi-final between Arsenal and Atletico Madrid. The two tournament favourites have been paired together in the last four and for the Gunners, it's a tie they need to win in order to maintain hope of a place in next season's Champions League. Let's see who features in each starting lineup...

7.07pmARSENAL XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Ramsey, Wilshere; Ozil, Welbeck, Lacazette

ARSENAL SUBSTITUTES: Cech, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Chambers, Iwobi, Nketiah


7.09pmATLETICO MADRID XI: Oblak; Vrsaljko, Gimenez, Godin, Lucas; Correa, Thomas, Saul, Koke; Gameiro, Griezmann

ATLETICO MADRID SUBSTITUTES: Werner, Savic, Gabi, Vitolo, Olabe, Torres, Costa


7.11pmLet's start with Arsenal as Wenger is able to call on the services of Mesut Ozil. The playmaker has been suffering with fatigue and illness in recent weeks but the German international takes his place in the final third alongside Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck and Alexandre Lacazette.

7.13pmJack Wilshere also returns to the fold. The Englishman - who is out of contract at the end of the season - missed out against West Ham United at the weekend, but he is able to take his place in midfield ahead of Mohamed Elneny, who is expected to miss the remainder of the campaign with an ankle injury.

7.15pmWenger has made the decision to give David Ospina responsibility between the sticks. Petr Cech has barely been involved in European fixtures this season but it still feels like a surprise that Wenger does not use his first-choice goalkeeper this evening.

7.17pmThe back four is as expected, but there is a defensive look to Arsenal's bench. Only Alex Iwobi and teenage forward Eddie Nketiah offer options in the final third.

7.19pmThe big news regarding Atletico is that Diego Costa is fit enough to take a place on the bench. The Spanish international has been sidelined since April 12 but the former Chelsea man features alongside Fernando Torres among the replacements.

7.21pmGoalkeeper Jan Oblak has not always featured in the Europa League since February but the alleged Arsenal and Liverpool target plays at the Emirates Stadium. Kevin Gameiro partners Antoine Griezmann in attack.

7.24pmAlongside Costa and Torres on the bench is former Manchester City centre-back Stefan Savic. The player only made six Premier League starts during his time at the Etihad Stadium so if he is introduced this evening, the Montenegrin will want to show his true ability.

7.25pmYou will probably be aware that this is not the only fixture which is taking place this evening. Marseille face Red Bull Salzburg in the other last-four contest and you can follow full coverage of that match by clicking here.

7.27pmBack to this game now and in his pre-match press conference, Wenger was full of praise for Atletico and acknowledged the test which awaits his side this evening. Click here to read the Frenchman's thoughts.

7.29pmWenger has also spoken about his desire to achieve "something special" with his first-team squad before he ends his time with the Gunners at the end of the season. It certainly would be special given that Wenger has only won domestic trophies during his time in North London.

7.31pmIt's felt a long road for Arsenal to reach this stage of the competition, even though 12 matches is the least amount of games that any team can play to reach the last four of this tournament. During that period, Arsenal have registered eight wins, two draws and two defeats.

7.34pmIn fairness to Arsenal, the two setbacks came in circumstances where they did not have to gain a result. The game in Koln was a dead-rubber to a certain extent while losing to Ostersunds FK followed a 3-0 win in Sweden.

7.35pmUp until tonight, Elneny had been the only player to feature in every European fixture this season but that streak has ended due to the Egyptian's injury. Who has featured in all but one of Arsenal's games on the continent since September? Just Jack Wilshere.

7.37pmArsenal have scored 29 goals from their 12 matches in the Europa League. There's nothing crazy about that, right? However, what is utterly remarkable is that Arsenal have had SIXTEEN different goalscorers in this competition. Ramsey tops the charts with four strikes.

7.39pmWelbeck has three to his name but each are regarded as crucial goals. The England international's double gave Arsenal breathing space against AC Milan in the last 16 while the forward's brilliantly-taken effort in Moscow got Arsenal a crucial away goal against CSKA.

7.41pmIt has been widely suggested that Wenger is walking away from Arsenal at the right time but all things considered, Arsenal have been excellent over the past seven weeks. They've won seven times in nine fixtures and scored at least two goals in each match!

7.43pmWhat a sight this is. Santi Cazorla kicking a ball on the Emirates Stadium pitch for the first time since October 2016!



7.45pmSimeone is one of a number of names to be linked as a replacement for Wenger, but the Argentine opted to praise the outgoing boss in his pre-match press conference. Click here to read the Argentine's quotes.

7.47pmAtletico find themselves in this competition due to their early exit from the Champions League but it is definitely a priority of Simeone and his players to lift the trophy in May. They have overcome Copenhagen, Lokomotiv Moscow and Sporting Lisbon to reach the last four.

7.49pmSimeone has already managed to get through 23 players in six matches. Only Juanfran and Koke have started every fixture, with Saul and Angel Correa also featuring in half-a-dozen contests. Juanfran's absence this evening means that his run has come to an end.

7.51pmCosta has naturally received a lot of attention in the build-up to this game. Since linking up with Atletico in January, the former Chelsea man has scored six goals in 18 outings. Fellow ex-Blues man Torres finds himself in the same boat. The 34-year-old has scored eight times in 10 starts and 26 substitute appearances in all competitions.

7.53pmPREDICTION! Atletico may have showed frailties in recent weeks - they've only won once in five games in all competitions - but we cannot back against them gaining a positive result at the Emirates Stadium. All of the pressure is on Arsenal and we think that Atletico will come away with a 2-1 victory.

7.55pmHEAD TO HEAD! Despite their status in European football, these two clubs have never met in a competitive contest!

7.57pmHowever, it's not to say that Arsenal are not familiar with Spanish opposition. The club have played 31 matches but just 10 wins and seven draws have been recorded.

7.59pmAs far as Atletico are concerned with English opposition, they have fared considerably better. In 23 matches, nine victories and nine draws have been recorded.

8.01pmThe two teams are beginning to make their way out at the Emirates Stadium. It's a flag fest as red and white greets the players.

8.03pmA reminder of the two teams...

ARSENAL XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Ramsey, Wilshere; Ozil, Welbeck, Lacazette

ATLETICO MADRID XI: Oblak; Vrsaljko, Gimenez, Godin, Lucas; Correa, Thomas, Saul, Koke; Gameiro, Griezmann


1 minKICKOFF! Arsenal get us underway.

2 minBOOKING! An early booking for Vrsaljko who brings down Wilshere to halt an Arsenal counter. Probably a little harsh but still, he can't really complain.

4 minAtletico initially began the game the brighter of the two sides but Arsenal are now in their stride. Bellerin does well to win a corner down the right but Xhaka's delivery is cleared.

6 minArsenal are really starting to pressure the visitors, especially down the flanks. The Gunners are playing with confidence and are naturally looking to capitalise on any lack of belief in the Atletico ranks.

7 minCHANCE! Almost a dream goal for Arsenal. Welbeck gets clear down the left and finds Lacazette at the back post. The Frenchman's volley, however, is scuffed and goes wide.

8 minSAVE! Lacazette again! Monreal's first-time cross finds the forward around 12 yards from goal but Oblak pulls off a brilliant save to prevent the ball from finding the top corner.

9 minSHOT! Arsenal are rampant. It's Welbeck's turn this time but after cutting inside onto his right foot, the Englishman scuffs a low shot too close to Oblak.

10 minRED CARD! Wow! Vrsaljko has been sent off for a second yellow card! He can't really complain though. The right-back's studs made contact with Lacazette's ankle.

13 minIt's all kicking off on the bench. Simeone is absolutely furious with the sending off but he couldn't have watched the replay yet. The Atletico boss wanted a yellow for a less aggressive tackle from Bellerin but the Argentine went over the top with his complaints and has now been sent to the stands!

15 minWe've reach the quarter-hour mark and things have started to calm down a touch now. They needed to! The reality of the situation, however, is that Arsenal have 80 minutes or so to play their man advantage count.

17 minFor the time being, Arsenal are content to keep hold of possession and move Atletico around in the final third. It's the right tactic for now but they cannot really afford to allow their opponents to get themselves set in defence.

19 minCHANCE! Just like that, Arsenal begin to overload in the final third. Welbeck's cross to the back post finds Wilshere, but the midfielder's header is weak and straight at Oblak.

21 minCHANCE! Arsenal really need to take one of these chances. Wilshere returns the favour by playing in Welbeck and the forward attempts to try to find the far corner, only to be denied by Oblak. The goalkeeper is keeping his side on level terms.

23 minLATEST! Marseille have taken the lead against Red Bull Salzburg. You can follow updates from that game by clicking here.

25 minSHOT! Atletico are starting to get settled now. Have Arsenal missed their chance? Ozil has just tried a left-foot curler from 25 yards, only to fire well off target.

27 minAlmost an opening for Lacazette who gets past two players to get into the penalty area but the Frenchman runs out of room and his cross is easily cleared.

29 minAtletico midfielder Partey has just lifted his boot to the same level as his own head to make a tackle and complained when the referee blew his whistle!

31 minCHANCE! It might take something special for Arsenal to break the deadlock and we nearly got just that. Ramsey's cross was deflected into the path of Monreal by Lacazette's flick, with the left-back seeing a right-footed volley go marginally wide of the far post.

33 minSHOT! Griezmann has barely seen any of the ball but the Frenchman gets an opportunity here. A volley came in from 20 yards out but Ospina was able to make the save down to his left.

35 minJust the 10 minutes to go until half time and Atletico will be delighted with how this is going so far. They have taken the sting out of Arsenal's attacks, even with 10 men.

37 minCHANCE! Atletico almost open the scoring! Partey advanced past four Arsenal players before the ball fell at the feet of Griiezmann. The forward's shot from 14 yards was well-struck but Ospina made an excellent save to keep him out.

39 minI didn't think I would be saying this but it is Arsenal who could do with the half-time whistle. Atletico are the better team now and the home side need to find a way to get back onto the front foot.

41 minArsenal have every player back in their own half. It tells you everything about how this match has changed. Big few minutes coming up for the Gunners.

43 minGriezmann is really letting himself down. Twice in the past 10 minutes, he has feigned injury to try to get an Arsenal player booked. Atletico feel hard done by but they haven't been. So far, the referee has been excellent.

45 minThere will be two minutes of added-on time.

45+2 minHALF TIME: Arsenal 0-0 Atletico Madrid

8.53pmThe half-time whistle goes at the Emirates Stadium and somehow, we remain goalless! Arsenal should have taken one of their chances in the opening quarter soon after the dismissal of Vrsaljko, but Atletico have created the better opportunities before the break.

8.57pmThe main talking point of the first half was the early red card. Vrsaljko was perhaps unfortunate to receive a yellow after just 75 seconds but there was no doubting his second booking with the right-back's studs making contact with Lacazette's ankle. The referee was spot on, despite the protests of Simeone.

9.01pmEither side of the dismissal, Arsenal should have gone ahead. Lacazette missed out with a couple of early chances, with Oblak making a stunning stop from the second, while Welbeck should have done much better after being played in on the left-hand side of the penalty area.

9.05pmDespite being a man light, Atletico ended the first half on top with Griezmann seeing two well-struck efforts brilliantly saved by Ospina. The visitors will certainly be encouraged at the break.

9.07pmThe two teams are making their way back out in North London. In terms of the tie, this is a massive 45 minutes.

46 minKICKOFF! Atletico get us back underway.

48 minSoon after the restart, Atletico had a small look at a couple of openings but Arsenal are now back on the offensive and are looking to make their man advantage count. Lively start.

50 minWhen Atletico do get on the ball, they are using it really well and making Arsenal chase to win it back. If they can, they need to save as much energy as possible for the latter stages.

52 minWe are still awaiting our first chance of the second half, which will suit Atletico more so than Arsenal. The Atletico backline love a backs-against-the-wall performance and that is what they are starting to produce.

55 minAside from a couple of crosses, Arsenal aren't really offering much. Their fans are sensing that they need to take a lead to Madrid and are becoming frustrated with every failed move.

57 minArsenal are getting closer. The ball almost falls for Ramsey around eight yards from goal but the midfielder wants too much time and a defender gets himself in the way.

59 minThe referee has been good tonight but he is still giving some strange decisions. Ramsey got fouled on the edge of the area but nothing was given, and then Bellerin was adjudged to have handled even though the ball hit him from around a yard away!

61 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Atletico Madrid (Alexandre Lacazette)

61 minBreakthrough! Monreal wins the ball back and Wilshere is played into the penalty area. The midfielder stands a cross up for Lacazette at the back post and the forward heads into the corner from six yards.

63 minArsenal may find themselves in two minds. They will want more than a one-goal lead but if they can avoid conceding an away goal, it could be potentially decisive.

65 minLATEST! Marseille are now two goals to the good in France. The French side are well on their way to the final. Click here to follow that match.

65 minSUBSTITUTION! Atletico make a change with Gabi being introduced for Gameiro.

67 minAtletico are sitting so deep. The change would suggest that they would take the 1-0 defeat right now. Arsenal remain in the ascendancy but the home side still have to be careful.

69 minNearly a second for Arsenal. A floated cross finds Monreal at the back post, and the left-back heads into the path of Lacazette. However, Godin gets across to make the interception.

70 minCHANCE! Massive chance for Lacazette. The forward meets a corner at the near post, but he can only direct the ball a yard wide of the far post.

72 minAtletico are operating with a bank of eight players no further than 25 yards away from their own goal. They are really trying to frustrate Arsenal. Griezmann is playing in attack on his own.

74 minSHOT! Arsenal are probably going to have to start trying their luck from distance. Xhaka does just that but fires well over the crossbar.

75 minSUBSTITUTION! A second change for Atletico sees Savic introduced for Correa. The visitors are strengthening their defence.

77 minIt's all gone a bit quiet. Arsenal are still pressing but they are starting to struggle to create anything of note in the final third. It might be worth Wenger introducing Iwobi to add some fresh legs.

79 minArsenal are able to find some space down the left and Lacazette reaches the ball ahead of three Atletico players. However, he can't get a pass to Welbeck, who was waiting in the middle.

81 minWe are well into the final 10 minutes now and Atletico are starting to show some life in the Arsenal half of the pitch.

82 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid (Antoine Griezmann)

82 minThis is calamitous from Arsenal and it has completely changed the tie. Griezmann beats the offside trap and poor defending from Koscielny allows the forward to get a shot away, which is blocked. However, Mustafi slips inside the six-yard box and Griezmann is able to find the roof of the net from close range. It's an away goal for Atletico. Realistically, Arsenal really need a second.

84 minThe Emirates Stadium is flat. The Arsenal fans cannot believe they have thrown this away.

85 minSUBSTITUTION! Atletico make their third alteration with Griezmann being taken off. Torres is the man on in his place.

87 minCHANCE! So close from Ramsey! The midfielder meets a cross with a glancing header, which is excellently clawed away by Oblak in the Atletico goal.

89 minArsenal are throwing men forward in search of a late winner. Atletico will settle for the draw and have everyone behind the ball.

90 minThere will be three minutes of added-on time.

90+2 minRamsey sees a late header from 15 yards go straight at Oblak. That could be that at the Emirates.

90+4 minFULL TIME: Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid

10.04pmThe full-time whistle goes in North London and Arsenal have been held to what will feel like a disastrous 1-1 draw by Atletico Madrid. The visitors had 10 men for over 80 minutes but still travel back to Spain with an away goal and a share of the spoils.

10.05pmThat will be all from Sports Mole for this match. Thank you for joining us this evening and we hope to see you again soon.

If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.


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Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone during the Champions League match with Leicester City on April 18, 2017
Read Next:
Simeone: 'No contact from Arsenal'
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