Costa Fires Atletico Into Europa League Final
UEFA Europa League Report: Atletico Madrid v Arsenal 03 May 2018
UEFA Europa League
Result: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Arsenal (2-1 on agg.)
Date: 03 May 2018
Venue: Wanda Metropolitano
Diego Costa's first-half strike was enough to hand Atletico Madrid a 1-0 win over Arsenal and secure their spot in the UEFA Europa League final,
Los Rojiblancos came into the clash with a slight advantage, having recorded a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium seven days ago, having played 80 minutes with a man down.
The Gunners were unable to keep possession in the early exchanges in the middle of the park this week, while the hosts looked more threatening in the opening 10 minutes.
Arsene Wenger was forced into making an early substitution as defender Laurent Koscielny sustained an injury in the 13th minute and was replaced by Calum Chambers.
Diego Simeone’s men were seeing a lot more of the ball after 20 minutes but were yet to generate chances in the last third.
Alexandre Lacazette should have done better for the Gunners in the 30th minute after going clear inside the box but fluffed his chance by dilly-dallying instead of hitting the target.
Koke had the first real chance for Atletico seven minutes before the break with a volley at the back post but his bouncing effort went wide.
Diego Costa gave the hosts the lead just before the break after holding off Hector Bellerin before hammering past Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina following a through ball from Antoine Griezmann.
After a relatively quiet start to the second-half, Costa nearly punished the Gunners again in the 62nd minute after going through on goal but scuffed his close-range strike and the visitors were let off the hook..
Henrikh Mkhitaryan almost found the equaliser for the Gunners 15 minutes before time with a snapshot from just outside the box but his effort sailed over the bar.
Costa was a constant threat to Arsenal and he continued to push for more goals to put the tie to bed.
The Gunners, meanwhile, struggled to carve out a meaningful opening in the closing stages of the second half as they eventually slumped out of the competition, leaving Wenger without a trophy in his final season with the club.