LONDON (Reuters) – A late equaliser from French striker Antoine Griezmann gave 10-man Atletico Madrid a precious away-goal advantage over Arsenal as the first leg of their Europa League semi-final at the Emirates ended 1-1 on Thursday.
Arsenal were given a huge boost after 10 minutes when Atletico defender Sime Vrsaljko was sent off for stamping on Alexandre Lacazette’s foot, and Atletico coach Diego Simeone was sent to the stands for his furious reaction to the decision.
Arsenal missed a number of clear chances before Lacazette broke the deadlock in the 61st minute, heading Jack Wilshere’s cross down into the corner to put the home side in front.
Atletico seized back the initiative in the 82nd minute, however, when Griezmann sped past Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny, collected his rebounded shot off keeper David Ospina and calmly lifted the ball into the roof of the net.
The teams head back to Madrid for the second leg next week when Atletico, second in Spain’s La Liga, should have talismanic striker Diego Costa back in their line-up.
Reporting by Hugh Lawson and Marc Jones, editing by Ed Osmond