London (AFP) – Jack Wilshere says Arsenal can take confidence from their Europa League semi-final draw against Atletico Madrid, despite the frustration of conceding a late away goal.
With the visitors on the back foot for much of Thursday’s first-leg contest at the Emirates Stadium following Sime Vrsaljko’s early dismissal, the Gunners dominated the game and looked set to take a lead to Madrid next week when Alexandre Lacazette headed them in front.
But Antoine Griezmann capitalised on weak defending to convert a late equaliser and secure a 1-1 draw.
Diego Simeone’s side have lost only twice at home since moving to the Wanda Metropolitano last summer, one of those a Champions League group game against Chelsea.
Atletico have also gone 11 home games without conceding a goal, and Arsenal head to Spain needing two to win the game.
But, ahead of what could be Arsene Wenger’s last European match in charge as he prepares for the end of his 22-year reign in the summer, Wilshere believes there is reason for Arsenal to be positive.
“It was definitely not the result we wanted but the performance was good and we have got to take confidence from that and take that into the away fixture,” the midfielder said.
“It is half-time. We cannot be too disappointed. We created a lot of chances. If we create chances and put them away then we have got a chance.”
Arsenal travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday but, with a top-four berth seemingly out of reach, Wenger will be focused on which players will feature in the Spanish capital four days later.
Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin admitted Atletico are favourites to progress.
“Atletico are a team that know how to make you suffer,” he said. “They know how to create chances and score goals.
“It’s only 1-1, though, and the tie is still open. We know it will be hard playing in their stadium but there are positives that we can take.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Where to find River Plate vs. Lanús on US TV
- Where to find USWNT vs. Colombia on US TV
- World Cup tickets on sale and in high demand
- Euro hosts England thrash reigning champions Netherlands in friendly
- Man City agree deal for Leeds midfielder Phillips: reports
- Chelsea favorites to land Neymar if Brazilian departs PSG
- Former England star Rooney quits as Derby manager
- USMNT goalkeepers: Lack of playing time creates big dilemma
- Success of Apple’s groundbreaking MLS deal hinges on pricing
- Milan begin Serie A title defence with Udinese visit in mid-August