Rather than the start of a perfect send-off, last night was really a perfect illustration of why Diego Simeone has made Atletico Madrid masters of two-legged knock-out football and why Arsene Wenger is now considered so far behind.

Arsenal stand no chance

Atletico overcame a 10-minute second booking for Sime Vrsaljko, an immediate red card for Simeone, a vibrant Arsenal atmosphere for Wenger and even an Arsenal lead to still claim the advantage.

The electric Antoine Griezmann aptly bided his time to finally come alive late on, his silence-causing away goal canceling out Alex Lacazette’s storming header. That is the great frustration for Arsenal, to add to the great task now at hand.

This is, obviously, very bad for Arsenal’s hopes of advancing to the Europa League final and getting to next season’s Champions League. The away goal means Atlético can advance with a 0-0 draw in the second leg, which shouldn’t be too difficult with their world-class defense.

They had looked to rise to the occasion of Wenger’s last European home game, and to the challenge; had been the better side against a side who have proved themselves so much better in Europe; had claimed the lead; were in control. All to end in a draw.

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