Atletico Madrid punish wasteful Arsenal

00If Arsene Wenger's Arsenal finale is to be a Europa League final in Lyon his side will have to do it the hard way after surrendering a well-deserved lead to draw against 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final.

Despite the man advantage, Arsenal struggled to break through Atletico's defensive wall in the first hour of the game, spurning chance after chance.

"He asked me to go and train with the team, which I have not managed to do yet, but he was always really welcoming and it was cool to meet "our team's" boss". For the players, better than for me because they had more time off than I did but that's just the nature of the job and I think they deserve that little rest.

Wenger hasn't won the league since then, while Mourinho has enjoyed continental success - winning the Premier League again with Chelsea, the treble with Inter Milan, and a La Liga title with Real Madrid.

Antonio Valencia has overcome a muscle complaint sustained in last weekend's FA Cup semi-final win against Tottenham. Three experienced players couldn't shut the door on one opponent and that has cost them so much tonight, I fear.

Cameroon worldwide Njie then made it 2-0 less than three minutes after coming off the bench in the second half, to leave Marseille firmly in control of the tie ahead of next week's return in Austria.

It could prove a crucial away goal for Atletico going into the second leg, where a clean sheet at home will see them through to a third European final in five years. I think, ultimately, Atletico will end up in the final. I feel better now without it, no doubts about it, but again when I arrived in England in 2004, Arsenal was the champion and was the famous champion of The Invincibles. Our fans were fantastic, and that's what we want. "But it was one of the good performances and we have done pretty well against every one of the top teams and it's a question of getting points from this match because we need points". The two matches we played at Highbury, that wonderful old stadium, were unforgettable. The whole thing went wrong in the end, but I don't have much time to get rest. "We are professionals but seeing him lift the trophy would be the icing on the cake".

'We thought Italian football could be good for him to develop and he went to Fiorentina. He more than deserved Player of the Year'.


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