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Mohamed Elneny’s Arsenal and Atletico Madrid share spoils in a draw

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

drew 1-1 against at the Emirates Stadium in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League semi final as remains out for the rest of the season.

The game started with high intensity as Atletico’s right back Šime Vrsaljko was booked and received a yellow card in the second minute of the game.

The first real chance of the game came in the sixth minute, when Danny Welbeck’s pass found Alexandre Lacazette at the back post but the Frenchman scuffed his finish and it went wide.

READ | Jose Mourinho: Chelsea decided to sell Salah not me

Four minutes later, Šime Vrsaljko received a second yellow card and Atletico were down to ten men. Manager Diego Simeone was also sent to the stands after protesting for the decision made by the referee.

In the 21st minute, Jack Willshere’s pass set Danny Welbeck through on goal but his shot was denied by Atletico’s Jan Oblak.

The hosts kept piling more and more pressure on Atletico when Alexandre Lacazette’s flick went straight to Nacho Monreal, whose half-volley effort went inches wide and off target in the 31st minute.

Atletico responded just six minutes later when Ghana international Thomas Partey skipped past four Arsenal players before the ball fell at Antoine Griezmann’s feet but the Frenchman’s strike was saved by David Ospina.

Only a minute after the hour mark, Jack Willshere plays a beautiful one-two pass with Granit Xhaka before laying off a sublime cross for French hitman Alexandre Lacazette, who does brilliantly to score a header and break the deadlock to put Arsenal 1-0 up.

READ | Mohamed Elneny: I am happy at Arsenal, Egypt have good chance in World Cup

Atleico Madrid’s patience was rewarded in the 82nd minute when Antoine Griezmann managed to steal the ball away from Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny and was through on goal. His initial effort was denied by David Ospina but the rebound directed the ball towards the empty net with only Shkodran Mustafi as the last man to beat. The German defender slipped and Griezmann scored the equalizer to make it 1-1.

With only three minutes to full time, Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey met an outstanding cross with a bullet header but Jan Oblak’s brilliant save denied the Gunners a second goal of the evening.

Arsenal travel to Old Trafford on Sunday as they face second-placed Manchester United, before traveling to Spain to play the second leg of the Europa League semi final against Ateletico Madrid.

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