Atletico Madrid 1-0 Arsenal (Agg 2-1): Simeone’s men secure final place

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Arsenal (Agg 2-1): Simeone’s men secure final place

May 3, 2018 Off By Campbell Finlayson

Atletico Madrid secured their place in the Europa League final in Lyon later this month after Diego Costa’s goal saw them beat Arsenal at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The first real chance of the game fell the way of the home side but Diego Costa couldn’t give them the early lead. He outmuscled Nacho Monreal on the right edge of the box but with few options he decided to go for goal however David Ospina closed the angle down and the Spaniard fired wide of target.

Arsenal were forced into a change after just ten minutes with Calum Chambers replacing Laurent Koscielny after the Frenchman went down unchallenged, with it later confirmed that he had torn his Achilles.

Alexandre Lacazette was played into the box but he failed to pull the trigger and Mesut Ozil’s final cutback was cleared as Arsenal’s first chance went begging.

With eight minutes to go until half time, Antoine Griezmann went close to opening the scoring. He latched onto the end of Koke’s free kick and turned in the box before firing a low left foot just past the post.

However, in stoppage time Los Colchoneros did go in front. Thomas Partey won the ball, finding Antoine Griezmann who played in Diego Costa to fire beyond Ospina and put the hosts ahead on aggregate.

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Arsenal started the second period well, Ozil twice getting in behind Thomas Partey, but both of his passes across goal came to nothing.

Granit Xhaka then went close with a low drive that Jan Oblak had to tip around the post.

The best chance though fell to Griezmann at the other end but his shot was blocked by Chambers before being grabbed by a grateful Ospina.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan came on for the Gunners and was very close to levelling the tie. A loose ball fell his way from a corner but he could only direct his shot over the bar.

The visitors couldn’t force extra time with the last chance of the game falling to Fernando Torres for Atleti but Ospina kept his effort out.

It made no difference in the end however as Atletico held out to reach the final in Lyon on May 16th against either Salzburg or Marseille whose tie went to extra time after a 2-0 win for the Austrians.

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Thomas (Savic, 90), Gimenez, Godin, Lucas; Vitolo (Correa, 74), Gabi, Saul, Koke; Costa (Torres, 83), Griezmann

Arsenal: Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny (Chambers, 12), Monreal; Ramsey, Xhaka; Ozil, Wilshere (Mkhitaryan, 68), Welbeck; Lacazette