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Arsenal 1-1 Atlético Madrid Europa League: match report

Antoine Griezmann equalised for Atlético Madrid after Arsenal took the lead through Alexandre Lacazette in the Europa League first leg semi-final on Thursday.
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Soccer Football - Europa League Semi Final First Leg - Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - April 26, 2018   Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates                   REUTERS

Arsenal 1-1 Atlético Madrid: match report

Arsenal had a man advantage for 80 minutes of their first leg encounter on Thursday night in the Europa League semi-final first leg. They failed to take full advantage, however, and allowed Atlético to get an away goal through Antoine Griezmann late on after Alexandre Lacazete opened the scoring for the Gunners.

If Arsenal are one of the last teams you'd want to play for 80 minutes with 10 men, Atlético are not the kind of team you want to encourage into a defensive position. They were forced to retreat after Sime Vrsaljko was given his marching orders after 10 minutes with a foul on Jack Wilshere and then on Aaron Ramsey minutes later.

Arsenal dominated the spell after that shock, which also saw Diego Simeone sent to the stands for abuse of the referee. 

As Arsenal attacked from every angle, Atlético found their feet and actually finished the half in better shape than their hosts. They didn't start the second half that way though. Atlético started to pour it on with the rojiblancos struggling to get the ball at their feet let alone anywhere near David Ospina's goals. 

Alexandre Lacazette headed home after 61 minutes when he outjumped Diego Godin and Lucas Hernandez at the back post. Simeone sent on two defensive players in Gabi and Stefan Savic as they settled in too accept the 1-0 loss.

On 82 minutes, however, the ball was sent long to Griezmann, who fought hard to get it under control. His initial shot was saved but he followed up and clipped it over Musafi, who could only help it into the roof of the net.

Atletico got their away goal and will be delighted that Arsenal have to come out and score at the Wanda, which is not something that many teams do. It ended 1-1 and perfectly poised for the return leg in a week's time.

Arsenal vs Atlético Madrid live stream online: as it happened

Arsenal vs Atlético Madrid live stream online: preview

Atlético Madrid travel to London to play Arsenal in what they are hoping is Arsene Wenger's last tie in Europe with the club he has managed for 22 years. The Arsenal legend announced he will be leaving his post at the Emirates at the end of the season. While Gunners' fans around the world will be looking to send him off with a European trophy, Diego Simeone is hoping to crush that dream. 1,500 rojiblanco fans have travelled to watch the game as Simeone looks to bring back the first piece of silverware he won at the club back in 2012.

Arsenal are struggling in the Premier League and have little or not chance of making the Champions League places, which are occupied by Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham. As far as options for the game go, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is out as he is cup-tied while Mohamed Elneny is out with an ankle injury.

Diego Simeone is thinking about resoting to drastic measures in the drastic times he has found himself in. By drastic, we mean playing a three-man back line when he has grown to become one of the best managers in the world thanks to his undying loyalty to the 4-4-2. He is without Juanfran and Filipe Luis meaning he only has six defenders and one of them has been brought up from Atlético's B team. Diego Costa is in the squad though even if it's unlikely that he will start as Cholo considers Griezmann and Gameiro his best bet in the capital of England.

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