Europa League: Arsenal Hold Off CSKA’s Rally To Progress

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Arsenal scored two goals in the final 15 minutes of their second leg Europa League quarterfinal tie against CSKA Moscow to deny the Russians of a memorable comeback. CSKA, needing to win by 3-0, had grabbed their first goal in the 39th minute through† Fedor Chalov before adding a second in the 50th minute through Kiril Nababkin.
On a night when the Gunners were off touch, a comeback for the Russian side was likely. The table however turned in the 75th minute when Mohamed Elneny found Danny Welbeck with a well-timed pass for the Englishman to finish cooly behind Igor Akinfeev.
The Arsene Wenger-led side were not done yet as Aaron Ramsey collected another pass from Elneny to put the match beyond CSKA’s reach in the 92nd minute. The matchended with the aggregate scores at 3-6.
Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal’s captain, bemoaned the team’s poor performance saying their confidence levels had been low. He praised their opponents who he said had taken their opportunities on the night.
“It was not the plan. I think we missed a lot of movement, to be available for our team-mates. We didnít win duels. They played well, had opportunities and took them. It put pressure on us, if they score we are out. So I am happy because we came back, but our performance was not enough for the stage of the competition. “We will see the draw, but need more confidence in our game,” he told BBC.
Arsenal are the fifth English team to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League since it was rebranded from the UEFA Cup, after Fulham (2009-10), Liverpool (2009-10 and 2015-16), Chelsea (2012-13) and Man Utd (2016-17). It’s also Arsenal’s first European semi-final since 2008-09, when they did so in the Champions League.
 
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