'Mkhitaryan could return for Europa League semis' - Wenger

Kenny Tucker
April 13, 2018

ARSENAL survived a scare in Russian Federation last night to reach the last four of the Europa League and stay on course for a place in next season's Champions League.

Arsenal had taken a healthy 4-1 lead into the second leg, but CSKA were given hope when they found themselves ahead in Moscow.

"But in the second half, we returned to the game and scored two goals", he said, in reference to Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey second half goals.

"I feel that maybe we were a bit surprised by the intensity at the start", he said.

With Arsenal effectively out of the top-four race in the Premier League as they trail fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur by 13 points with just six games left in the campaign, the Europa League is their sole chance of ensuring participation in next season's UEFA Champions league. It put pressure on us, if they score (a third goal) we are out.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is hopeful Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be fit to return in two weeks, placing him in contention for the Gunners' upcoming Europa League semi-finals.

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On reaching a European semi-final, Wenger continued: "It should be every year, never enough, could see in Europe a lot of turnovers, we need to be focused".

"So, let's prepare well for the semi-final and see who we play".

Yet the tie was soon level as Stefan Ilsanker scored an own goal and Bouna Sarr added a second before Florian Thauvin's effort gave Marseille an aggregate lead prior to half-time.

With the Germans sending everyone forward for a corner in stoppage time, Marseille made sure of the victory as Hiroki Sakai netted on the counter-attack to complete a 5-3 aggregate win.

The draw for the semifinals will take place alongside the Champions League semifinal draw on Friday.

Meanwhile, Atletico held on in the rain in Lisbon to win 2-1 on aggregate against Sporting, despite losing on the night to a Fredy Montero header in the first half.

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