The Gunners once again took their foot off the gas in the second leg. A late comeback and the first win was enough to send Wenger’s men to the semifinals.
CSKA Moscow entered needing a three-goal comeback to stun Arsenal and make the Europa League semifinals. Three-goal comebacks have been common recently in Europe. Moscow wasn’t able to complete the comeback. They made a heck of an effort. They took a 2-0 lead after goals by Fedor Chalov early in the first 45 and then Kirill Nababkin’s early second-half goal. Arsenal was then able to take them back down to earth.
The Gunners sealed it with Danny Welbeck’s 75th-minute strike to bring it back to 5-3 on aggregate. Aaron Ramsey’s 92nd-minute goal keeps Arsenal’s unbeaten run at seven, but the winning streak ends at six. One of the stories of the game was Ramsey playing with a gashed leg. Look up the picture at your discretion. WARNING: It’s very gross.
Arsenal is now in the semifinals of the Europa League for the first time in eighteen years. The last time the club was in the last four of this competition was when it was called the UEFA Cup in 2000. They beat Lens in the semifinals and lost to Galatasaray on penalties in the final. For Arsene Wenger, this is just the third time he has taken the Gunners to the semifinals of a European competition. The only way to have a chance at keeping his job is to win this thing. We’ll see what the board decides in May.
CSKA Moscow 2-2 Arsenal Match Stats:
|5||Shots on Target||4|
The teams in tomorrow’s draw pot will be Spanish giant Atletico Madrid, Dimitri Payet and Marseille, and the cinderella Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg. Salzburg is the team Arsenal would want the most. They are the weakest of the four remaining teams by far. Just like Roma in the Champions League, Salzburg has nothing to lose and will take the challenge. Marseille is the middle team with a great player in Dimitri Payet. Atletico is the team Wenger would like to avoid as they are the favorites to win this competition.
The Europa League draw will take place tomorrow after the Champions League draw. It will be around 7:30am EST. Arsenal is two games away from their first European final since 2006. They have an excellent chance to schedule Arsene Wenger a trip to his native country of France for the final in Lyon. The key to that, don’t draw Atletico.