Tag Archives: Arsenal

Diego Costa denies dream send-off for Arsene Wenger

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Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger was denied a last chance to lift silverware after the Gunners were beaten by 2-1 on aggregate by Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final.

With the score 1-1 from the first leg, former Chelsea striker Diego Costa returned to the Atletico side to haunt the Gunners again, scoring from a composed chip on the brink of half-time which ended their European hopes.

Antoine Griezmann, who scored Atletico’s away goal at the Emirates, slipped the crucial pass through to Costa after coming close with a powerful strike from a tight angle.

Arsenal were crestfallen going into the break but almost responded within minutes of the restart when Aaron Ramsey found himself through on goal. However, his touch let him down and the chance was wasted — as were a number of opportunities for the visitors throughout the second half.

It was a bad night made worse for Arsenal when captain Laurent Koscielny was carried off with an Achilles injury, which may rule the Frenchman out of this summer’s World Cup.

Two-time champions Atletico will now face Marseille in their third Europa League final in eight years in Lyon on 16 May, while defeat for Arsenal means they will miss out on Champions League football for the second straight season.

Wenger, who will leave the Gunners at the end of the season after 22 years in charge, has never won a European trophy with the club.

Arsene Wenger praises ‘nice’ gesture from Manchester United

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Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger thanked Manchester United for his warm reception, joking before his team’s 2-1 defeat that he was no longer a “danger” to them.

Wenger, 68, completes 22 years of servitude at Arsenal at the end of the season, was managing them for the final time at Old Trafford.

To mark the occasion, Sir Alex Ferguson presented on United’s behalf a vase to the 68-year-old Frenchman before kick-off. Asked about his ovation as he walked along the touchline, Wenger said: “When you’re not a danger any more, people love you.

“I am thankful to Manchester United because they had a nice gesture. It is the first time I get a trophy before a game. It is very classy from them.”

Wenger fielded an inexperienced squad that was Arsenal’s youngest in the fixture since August 2011 and, after losing to an added-time Marouane Fellaini header, believes whoever succeeds him will take over a squad of depth.

“My successor will watch this game and hopefully he will come to a positive conclusion because I think they are the future of Arsenal football club – some, 100%,” Wenger said. “We had a very young team and the performance was positive.”

“The players are destroyed because they gave everything and were caught in the final minute. There were many question marks if we would be strong enough to fight but the quality was good, the spirit was good, many players stood up. We tired a bit in the last 20 minutes and were a bit more under pressure. It was a negative result and a positive performance.”

Paul Pogba opened the scoring on 16 minutes before Henrikh Mkhitaryan equalised against his former club on 51 minutes.

Victory puts United in pole position for a second-place finish with 77 points with three games remaining, although Romelu Lukaku’s foot injury later in the second half is of concern with the FA Cup final on 19 May.

Arsene Wenger: ‘hurtful’ supporters damaged Arsenal’s image

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that supporters campaigning for the manager’s removal had created a “hurtful” atmosphere that was damaging the club’s reputation on a worldwide scale.

Wenger made it clear he was “not tired” and wanted to continue working in football, but declined to explain in full why had chosen to break his contract, stating that he would wait until he had left the club.

However, he spoke at length for the first time about the bitter divisions that have been created among Arsenal’s fanbase.

“I believe this club is respected all over the world, much more than in England, and our fans did not give the image of unity that I wanted. That was hurtful because I feel the club is respected over the world and, overall, the image we gave from our club is not what it is — and not what I like.”

“I feel this club has a fantastic image and, for me, that is absolutely vital. We can speak and speak and speak but sport is about winning and losing and you [the supporters] have to accept you will lose games, even when I will not be here anymore.”

“But it is about something bigger than just winning or losing and that was always a worry: how the club is perceived worldwide, for kids playing in Africa, China and America and the dreams it can create for young children who want to play football.”

“I am not resentful and I do not want to make stupid headlines. I just feel if my personality is in the way of what I think our club is … for me, that is more important than me staying. That is all I want to say. It is nothing to do with the fans. The fans were not happy and I can understand that. It’s my job. I have to live with that. I can accept that.”

Europa League: Arsenal holds out at Moscow with second-half brace

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Arsenal reached the semi-finals of the Europa League with a 6-3 aggregate win over CSKA Moscow, after a 2-2 draw in Russia where they weathered a fightback from the Russian team.

Arsene Wenger saw his team trail 2-0 and being put under pressure, before Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey scored one goal apiece in the second-half to stave off any danger.

The hosts led through Fedor Chalov and Kirill Nababkin, and almost drew level on aggregate and leading on away goals but Gunners keeper Petr Cech saved Aleksandr Golovin’s free-kick while Sergei Ignashevich shot narrowly wide.

Arsenal did not have an effort on target in the first 70 minutes, and Laurent Koscielny wasted a glorious chance before Welbeck struck.

Aaron Ramsey’s goal in injury time made certain of their progress into the last four alongside Atletico Madrid, Marseille and RB Salzburg.

CSKA Moscow would have been dreaming of an upset when Chalov reacted before Shkodran Mustafi to score the opener after Cech saved Nabakin’s header. Cech also made a mistake when he could only parry Golovin’s strike from 25 yards and Nababkin reacted first to double the hosts’ lead.

“Maybe we were surprised by the intensity at the start,” Wenger said. “They scored the second, had a chance for the third. It was a good response from us after the break.”

“You could see in Europe a lot of turnovers. We need to be focused. Let’s prepare well for the next round and see who we get.”