So near but yet so far for CSKA Moscow as they are knocked out by Arsenal
Arsenal went into the match with what they thought was a comfortable win after beating CSKA Moscow 4-1 at home. The club did not have Xhaka and Mkhitaryan who have been crucial to their success in the Europa League thus far. Elneny started in midfield with Wilshere and Ramsey and it was the Egyptian who would save Arsenal on the night. The match kicked off and the English side showed they were not interested in attacking because of the way they were playing the sideways passes. The gunners did not invest much into the first half with their closest chance of scoring only came from Lacazette who got his shot blocked for a corner kick. The belief of a win started to grow on the Russian side as the team started to take shots at Petr Cech. The aging goalkeeper eventually conceded a goal in the 39th minute when Chalov tapped into the net after Cech had punched the ball out from a shot and his defenders did not react quick enough. Kristijan Bistrovic’s furious half-volley shot almost made it 2-0 before the break but it sailed just wide. After the break, Moscow scored the second through Nababkin with an almost similar goal to the first. Egyptian midfielder, Mo Elneny, took up the responsibilities of creating chances in a match were Ozil was marked as he played a nice one-two with Welbeck before sliding a beautiful through ball that was coolly finished by the English forward. Danny Welbeck deserved that goal after doing the most of the defender who was marking him on the left flank prior to the goal. Ramsey scored the second for the gunners to make it 2-2 when Elneny again, slid a ball that passed two defenders and was met by the Welshman who chipped the ball over the goalkeeper. Many expected him to pass it to Ozil there who was in a better position to score but who cares now that the ball is in the back of the net. Another African player rescues an English club’s dream of European glory this season. One must wonder how much talent really is in that continent when these big clubs still wait for the African players to save them.
Atletico Madrid played Lisbon in the same competition today and lost the match 1-0. This means that they have gone through with a 2-1 aggregate. Both Atletico Madrid and Arsenal will be hoping to avoid each other in the semifinals. The UEFA Europa League draw will be held on Friday and only then will we find out about the teams that will face each other. Marseille and RB Salzburg are the other teams who have made it to this stage. Good luck at the draw!