Arsenal’s Manager, Arsene Wenger says Sime Vrsaljko’s red card was a disadvantage to the Arsenal team.
Sime Vrsaljko was dismissed after picking up two bookings in ten minutes. Also Atletico’s visiting manager, Diego Simeone was also sent from the touchline after remonstrating with the referee following a Bellerin foul.
The Gunners dominated in the early stages, and with one man down and no manager to guide them, Arsenal had every oppourtunity to take on Atletico.
Lacazette’s bullet header was an opener in Europa League for Arsenal against Atletico.
With the Gunners 1-0 up against ten-man Atletico they left themselves embarrassingly exposed as they hungrily went in search of a second.
A punt downfield in the 82nd minute from centreback Jose Maria Gimenez and super-striker Antoine Griezmann was away.
Then it was the turn of Arsenal’s defensive pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi to do their comedy double act routine.
Koscielny, in attempting to clear, kicked the ball against his own head and put Griezmann away.
David Ospina did well to block his shot but the ball bounced back to the Frenchman.
Mustafi looked like he might deny Griezmann, but he slipped over and the Atletico ace was able to lift the ball into the net.
Many thought the one player out was an advantage for the gunners but Wenger doesn’t feel that way. According to him, his side were hindered by Atletico’s need to defend so stoically from so early in the game.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Wenger said:-
I must say, once they were down to 10 men it destroyed the flow of the game.
It was not to our advantage. The only advantage of that result is we know exactly what we have to do.’ he added: ‘we were 1-0 up, we did not have to force it. They are a team who defends well, we know that, one of the best defensive records in europe you could see that’s not by coincidence.’
I feel we produced the performance we wanted to produce but the result is not in line with the performance.
Once we were 1-0 up, the task was clear to us not be caught on the long ball. The only chance they could have was the long ball. ‘we were a bit unlucky with the goal because it was a foul on welbeck, but we can only look at ourselves tonight.