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Arsenal draw Atletico Madrid in the semi-final of the Europa League


Arsenal held CSKA Moscow to a 2-2 draw in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final meeting to advance the semi-final where they have drawn Spanish powerhouse Atletico Madrid. Marseille take on Salzburg.

This marks Arsenal’s first appearance in the final four of a European competition since 2008/09 where they lost to Manchester United in the Champions League semis.

Atletico, meanwhile, are used to deep runs in Europe and hope to win the Europa League for the third time in eight seasons. Diego Simeone's men have been Champions League runners-up twice in the last four years too.

You don’t need to be an expert in utilising online sportsbooks to know the Spanish side are overwhelming favourites to reach the final at Arsenal's expense.

Arsenal beat CSKA 6-3 on aggregate, while Atletico knocked out Sporting Lisbon 2-1. The first leg of the semi-final clash will take place at the Emirates on April 26. The return leg at the Wanda Metropolitano is on May 3. The Europa League final will be held in Lyon on May 16.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was hopeful that his side would be able to avoid facing Atletico until the final.

He said in quotes reported by Metro:

"Looking at all the results as a whole picture in Europe this week, you would say that teams have become closer and the games are very open and everything is possible in every single game.

"Atletico are still favored to go through and win the tournament, while Arsenal have the second-best odds.

"Everybody speaks about Atletico Madrid that they look the strongest team on paper."

Atletico director Clemente Villaverde believes the semifinal will feature a pair of evenly-matched sides. He expects an open and entertaining couple of games.
He said, in quotes reported by AS:

"At this stage of the competition all games are difficult, big rivals and if the draw wanted us against Arsenal, then we’ll take that.

"They are a great team up there for many years in their league and going far in European competition."

This will be the first time Arsenal and Atletico will have faced off in a competitive match.

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