Arsenal face Atletico in Europa League semis

  • Arsenal face Atletico in Europa League semis

Arsenal face Atletico in Europa League semis

The Gunners will face two-time winners Atletico Madrid after the Spanish side dropped out of this season's Champions League. Neither of them are in a Champions League qualification spot, so winning this cup can get them there.

With Atleti set to play Arsenal in the Europa League semi-final first leg on 26 April, the former Chelsea striker faces a race against time to recover for the clash with his old foes. The London side won 6-3 on aggregate.

Atletico, who dropped down from the Champions League following the group stage, progressed at the expense of Sporting Lisbon, despite a 1-0 defeat in Portugal on Thursday evening.

The first leg is at the Emirates and Wenger has to find a way of replicating how Arsenal played when they beat CSKA Moscow 4-1 at home in the quarter-finals.

But Simeone was delighted with his side's efforts to scrape through to the last four, as they look to reach a fifth European final in nine years.

Koke said he would give Jan Oblak a blank cheque to ensure he remains at Atlético Madrid after lauding the goalkeeper's performance in the Europa League.

Diego Simeone's side are now second in LaLiga behind runaway leaders Barcelona.

Speaking after Thursday's match in Moscow, when at one point Arsenal had been a goal away from elimination, manager Arsene Wenger admitted he would prefer to avoid Atletico in the last-four.

Arsenal players have talked up the club's chances of winning the competition but were given the toughest possible draw when they were matched with La Liga's Atletico Madrid.