For all his home achievements, Wenger will even depart with out a European trophy to his identify and it stays to be seen how sitting outdoors the continent’s premier match will have an effect on Arsenal’s pursuit of a brand new coach, and gamers, this summer season.
“I’m very sad tonight,” Wenger stated. “Unfortunately you have to go through that – the game can be very cruel, sometimes very nice, but the suffering is very strong tonight.”
Extra instantly, there was the regarding sight of Laurent Koscielny being carried off on a stretcher within the 12th minute after the defender went down, with no one close to him, clutching his left Achilles.
“It doesn’t look very good, it’s his Achilles,” Wenger stated. “You can always hope for a miracle in the scan but if he has a ruptured Achilles, his chances for the World Cup are non-existent.”
Koscielny’s exit made a tricky job all of the tougher for Arsenal, who have been at all times going to be up in opposition to it on the Wanda Metropolitano, the place Atletico haven’t misplaced within the league all season and not conceded a goal since January.
It was maybe additionally telling that Costa’s physicality and Atletico’s defensive rigour in the end proved decisive, two qualities Wenger’s Arsenal lately have so lacked.
“Costa came back here for nights like this,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone stated. “To be important, to lead from the front. This side needs an aggressive striker and that’s exactly what he is.”
Costa was looking Arsenal’s again 4 from the outset as he wrestled previous Koscielny, knocked over Nacho Monreal earlier than firing vast with solely David Ospina to beat.
Koscielny was substituted quickly after, changed by Calum Chambers, however Arsenal loved one in every of their finest spells halfway by way of the half, dominating possession and decreasing Atletico to a series of rushed clearances.
– Scientific Costa –
On the again, nevertheless, they have been shaky, as Ospina had balls booted out of his grasp by his teammates on multiple event whereas their passing out of the again was too usually careless.
By the top of the half, Atletico had regained the ascendancy and in injury-time, they struck. Granit Xhaka’s weak header put Arsenal on the again foot and Antoine Griezmann threaded by way of to Costa.
He held off Hector Bellerin with ease earlier than coolly ending previous Ospina.
Arsenal got here once more after the interval. Aaron Ramsey bundled his means by way of however the ball wouldn’t fall for him six yards out whereas Mesut Ozil flashed too luxurious deliveries throughout the face of goal.
Griezmann may have put the tie to mattress after Costa had turned Shkodran Mustafi inside out however the defender recovered simply in time to dam.
A classic Costa efficiency wouldn’t be full with out a scuffle and he offered it when Mustafi tried too enthusiastically to seize the ball off him for a free-kick.
Each gamers have been booked and when Costa was substituted quickly after, the striker was given a standing ovation.
Arsenal piled ahead late on looking for an equaliser however in reality, their evening ended with out them actually making a clear-cut probability.
When the ultimate whistle blew, Wenger marched straight down the tunnel as round him, Atletico’s celebrations started.