Atletico Madrid limp into Europa League semi-finals


Red Bull Salzburg have reached the semi-finals of the Europa League thanks to an exhilarating 4-1 win over Lazioin Thursday night's quarter-final second leg.

The result means Arsenal are in their first European semi-final for nine years, and even though it's only the Europa League it still means their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season remain alive.

The draw for the semi-finals will take place on Friday.

Late goals from Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey helped Arsenal clinch a 2-2 draw and a comfortable aggregate win.

Arsenal found themselves 2-0 down in Russian Federation, but Elneny's two late assists to Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey ensured the Gunners' place in the next round.

Arsene Wenger can not afford to lose any more players, not if Arsenal are to remain one of the favourites to win the Europa League.

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Diego Simeone's Atletico side, second in La Liga, have already faced English opposition this season in Europe, losing 2-1 at home to Chelsea and drawing away as they bowed out of the Champions League at the group stage.

"They played well with the ball and they had some opportunities and scored two goals".

Manager Arsene Wenger looked a disgruntled figure on the Arsenal bench for much of the night as CSKA grew in confidence to lead 2-0 by the 50th minute.

"We were a bit surprised by the intensity of the game and we were not at the races in the first half especially", said Wenger.

And how badly was he needed with a slipshod Arsenal defending a 4-1 advantage from the first leg with all the reliability of Gerard Pique in a Barcelona away shirt.

It put pressure on us, if they score (a third goal) we are out.

Arsenal and Atletico Madrid escape to advance to Europa League semis
Marseille overcame a first-leg defeat to beat RB Leipzig 5-3 on aggregate; Dimitri Payet scoring the pick of the bunch. In Moscow, CSKA gave Arsenal a scare despite their 4-1 advantage from the opening game in London.

"You could see when you have a big difference after the first game, it is hard to turn up with the same urgency than if the difference is very small", he said.

Cech also revealed that Wenger has not spoken to him or David Ospina about who will play in goal for the remainder of the competition. Efforts Tovena and Payet Marseille turned the tide of the match and the last goal Sakai scored in stoppage time into an empty net. "Maybe they are the strongest on paper, but let's play well against whichever team we get".

The Gunners were drawn against tournament favourites Atletico Madrid in the last four tie.

Marseille and Salzburg were paired together in the other semi-final.

Marseille sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said: "This is not the worst draw, but we know Salzburg".

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