Gallant Gunners bow out of Europa League

Florence Fletcher
May 4, 2018

"It's very sad, very, very, very sad", said Wenger.

Diego Costa ensured Wenger's 22-year reign as Arsenal manager will end in Huddersfield and not Lyon as the former Chelsea man hit the victor for Atletico Madrid in a closely fought Europa League semi-final. The suffering is of course very strong tonight.

Arsenal have the quality to go through, but will need to show the steel that has been missing in recent away games.

"We didn't manage the important moments of either game well".

"In history, he has shown he can make differences", said the Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

"The side responded so well last week, they suffered, [goalkeeper Jan] Oblak had a great game - but that's what happens on these big nights, big players stand up to be counted and the team were up there with him at that level. With the right additions in the summer I think they can compete next year".

"He wasn't fit to wear the shirt for me tonight. I would say the victor of tonight's game is the clear favourite in the competition". He needs to be dug out.

"It's not easy to do what we're doing", Atletico midfielder Saul Niguez said. "These are crocodile tears I'm seeing from the player, he's not conning me". "He's not conning me!"

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But Atletico, twice winners of the competition, produced a stout defensive display while pouncing on an error which sums up the Gunners' season. "He will have some emotional breakdown and won't be able to play at the weekend".

"I don't agree with that", he said.

"It was a very intense game between two teams that gave everything".

"I'm convinced that Ozil should not be criticised by anyone just because he did not score".

Arsenal and France now face an anxious wait. "It looks (like) an Achilles rupture".

But with Real booking their place in the Champions League final this week for a third successive year, there is every chance that Zinedine Zidane's men will claim a 13th European Cup against Liverpool in Kiev and top anything that Atletico achieve in the Europa League final.

Costa was the star of the show, providing the tenacity and killer instinct Arsenal so desperately lacked.

For the manager who has vouched for stability at Arsenal throughout his managerial reign, Wenger will leave the club in a gulf of uncertainty - without a manager and Champions League football next season.

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