When 60,000 Arsenal fans stormed through the gates on Thursday night in the Emirates, they came to a football match; but also for something more. They came to the 1
And unfortunately they got a fitting finale. Suitable for all wrong reasons.
You have "classic arsenal" or "top arsenal" or whatever you want to use to describe the continuation of persistent continental failures. Failures despite hope and indications of possible success.
They saw Arsenal fight 50 minutes with 10-man Atletico Madrid, then finally break through, only to shoot himself in the foot; fall asleep; and back to Madrid with nothing to show for 80 minutes of 11-v-10 football.
The Gunners were on the fore for much of the evening after Sime Vrsaljko picked up two yellow cards within 10 minutes  RED CARD FOR VRSALJKO!
The right-back sees his second yellow in the first 10 minutes of the match to reduce Atletico Madrid to ten. pic.twitter.com/Af5OWjd2dN
– FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 26, 2018
Atleti manager Diego Simeone was sent to the stands shortly thereafter. Arsenal was in control. But it was unable to count control. Jan Oblak was a flying, space-eating animal in the Atleti net. He got his fingertips to head ball from Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette. He faced 28 shots, eight of which were on the gate; he made seven saves. He was once supported by a post.
Even after 1-0 after Lacazette's 61st minute header, Thursday's night's tale for Arsenal would have been a moderate gratification, but also wasted the opportunity.
Instead, it's the story of the opportunity that's completely strangled.
Nacho Monreal was caught on the left side of the dream. Laurent Kosielny's eviction was woefully inadequate. David Ospina let a ball crawl through his legs. Shkodran Mustafi could not keep Antoine Griezmann's second chance out of the arsenal net. Griezmann led his brand celebration to the unbridled delight of the traveling fans and the dejection of the rest.
The Emirates sank collectively, resigned to "the same old arsenal." He performed to Wengers rule, which ended exactly how she had unraveled disappointment after disappointment
No team should lose a two-leg tie and play 44 percent of it with a man advantage. After Thursday, and especially after the conceding of the away goal, there will be a very good chance Arsenal. And there is a very good chance that Wenger will finish 22 years without a European trophy at the top.
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