Diego Costa helps Atletico sink Arsenal to reach Europa final

May 04, 2018, 09:59
Diego Costa helps Atletico sink Arsenal to reach Europa final

Laurent Koscielny's chances of featuring for France at the World Cup are hanging by a thread after Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he suffered a suspected Achilles rupture in Thursday's Europa League clash with Atletico Madrid.

And Wenger acknowledged it is a sad ending for him, with his last game at Arsenal set to be against Huddersfield Town rather than in a European final.

But they succumbed to a 1-0 loss against Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano, finishing 2-1 on aggregate o the Spanish side.

The second-leg result also means Arsenal will not qualify for the Champions League for a second straight season.

"It doesn't look very good", said the Frenchman.

Hosts Atletico grew into the game and nearly went ahead in the seventh minute when Costa fended off a challenge from Koscielny and Nacho Monreal but the Spanish striker could not beat David Ospina at the near post with his toe-poked shot going wide. It's very sad, very, very, very sad. Wenger announced two weeks ago he was standing down as Arsenal coach after almost 22 years at the helm.

After a quiet first half, the Austrians took the lead through a brilliant solo strike by Amadou Haidara before Bouna Sarr's own goal made it 2-0.

Atletico was demoted to the Europa League after failing to get past the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in five seasons.

"It was important to make it to the final", Costa said.

"Congratulations to Atletico and good luck in the final".

"It's not easy to do what we're doing", Atletico midfielder Saul Niguez said.

Wenger, who is bringing down the curtain on his long Arsenal reign at the end of the season, will take to the home dugout as manager for the last time on Sunday when Burnley travel to the Emirates Stadium.

They all were.An assault on another final awaits and even if this was a club that had felt like it left the Europa League behind, it is one they will reach for, the continuation of an astonishing era unthinkable when Simeone arrived and a step towards another.

"The target is to get to 251 European games but I believe we come to a place which has a good history in Europe". The striker latched on to Antoine Griezmann's sweeping pass and, all too easily, ignoring the flimsy attentions of Hector Bellerin, drove into the box before powerfully smashing the ball past David Ospina.

The game opened up after the break but Arsenal were unable to carve out a meaningful chance against the well organised Atletico defence.

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