Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Arsenal still believe after Atletico equalise late on

Arsenal still believe after Atletico equalise late on

Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin reacts after their Europa League semifinal first leg with Atletico Madrid at the Emirates Stadium in London on Thursday night. AFP
Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin reacts after their Europa League semifinal first leg with Atletico Madrid at the Emirates Stadium in London on Thursday night. AFP

Arsenal still believe after Atletico equalise late on

Jack Wilshere says Arsenal can take confidence from their Europa League semifinal draw against Atletico Madrid, despite the frustration of conceding a late away goal.

With the visitors on the back foot for much of Thursday night’s first-leg contest at the Emirates Stadium following Sime Vrsaljko’s early dismissal, the Gunners dominated the game and looked set to take a lead to Madrid next week when Alexandre Lacazette headed them in front.

But Antoine Griezmann capitalised on weak defending to convert a late equaliser and secure a 1-1 draw.

Diego Simeone’s side have lost only twice at home since moving to the Wanda Metropolitano last summer, one of those a Champions League group game against Chelsea.

Atletico have also gone 11 home games without conceding a goal, and Arsenal head to Spain needing two to win the game.

But, ahead of what could be Arsene Wenger’s last European match in charge as he prepares for the end of his 22-year reign in the summer, Wilshere believes there is reason for Arsenal to be positive.

“It was definitely not the result we wanted but the performance was good and we have got to take confidence from that and take that into the away fixture,” the midfielder said.

“It is half-time. We cannot be too disappointed. We created a lot of chances. If we create chances and put them away then we have got a chance.”

Arsenal travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday (at 10:30pm Cambodian time) but, with a top-four berth seemingly out of reach, Wenger will be focused on which players will feature in the Spanish capital four days later.

Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin admitted Atletico are favourites to progress.

“Atletico are a team that know how to make you suffer,” he said. “They know how to create chances and score goals.

“It’s only 1-1 though, and the tie is still open. We know it will be hard playing in their stadium but there are positives that we can take.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Monks given ‘Samdech’ title for contributions

    Three senior monks on Thursday were given the highest-ranking title “samdech”, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that the promotions were due to their contributions to Buddhism. The three distinguished monks were promoted on Thursday morning at Botum Vatey pagoda in Phnom Penh, at a

  • Facing possible sanctions, PM criticises Washington’s rights record

    While United States congressmen are discussing the Cambodia Democracy Act and an amendment that could impose more sanctions against Cambodia’s government, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday counterattacked by questioning the respect of human rights and democracy under the US-backed Lon Nol regime, and