Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid send Arsenal out of Europa League

Arsene Wenger’s final season as Arsenal manager will finish trophyless after they were knocked out of the Europa League by Atletico Madrid at the semi-final stage.

Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa haunted Arsenal once again and scored the only goal of the game as Atletico triumphed 2-1 on aggregate.

Costa caused problems for the Gunners defence from the start and nearly put Atletico in the lead in the eighth minute. He beat Nacho Monreal but shot into the side-netting.

Arsenal were dealt a huge blow when they lost captain Laurent Koscielny in the 11th minute when he went down with a torn Achilles likely to keep him out of this summer’s World Cup.

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The Gunners dealt with Koscielny’s absence well and dominated possession. Neither team were able to create many chances though.

Costa gave Atletico the lead on the verge of half-time when he made the most of lacklustre defending to pick up Antoine Griezmann’s pass and beat David Ospina.

Aaron Ramsey should have levelled the score after the restart but he failed to control the ball and it bounced off his thigh at close range.

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Arsenal put the Atletico defence under pressure throughout the second half. Mesut Ozil twice whizzed dangerous balls across the six-yard box before Granit Xhaka forced a save out of Jan Oblak.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan nearly made an immediate impact after coming off the bench in the 70th minute but his shot looped onto the roof of the net.

Atletico were able to run the clock down in the final stages. Substitute Fernando Torres had a fantastic chance to put the game to bed in the 88th minute but his shot was well saved by Ospina.

The result means that Arsenal will no longer be able to qualify for the Champions League next season.

Cover Photo: Arsene Wenger by Ronnie MacDonald used under license by CC BY 2.0.

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