Wenger claims draw with Atletico is ‘worst possible result’

Arsene Wenger believes his side’s 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final first leg is the ‘worst possible result’.

Arsenal left themselves with a tough task to do in a week’s time as they let a lead slip to 10-man Atletico at the Emirates Stadium.

Šime Vrsaljko saw red inside 10 minutes for the visiting side having picked up two bookings, and Arsene Wenger’s side proceeded to dominate the exchanges.

It took until the second-half for the Gunners to break the deadlock though, with Alexandre Lacazette heading home at the far post.

As they searched for a crucial second goal they were sucker-punched, as Antoine Griezmann found himself through on goal, converting at the second attempt to give Atletico a huge away goal.

Wenger admitted seeing victory snatched away in such a manner was a kick in the teeth.

“I think looking at the performance and the way the game went it was the worst possible result for us,” the Arsenal boss said on BT Sport.

“We have to go there in a positive mood and qualify over there.

“Unfortunately we gave a goal away from nowhere.”

Wenger agreed the first leg felt like an opportunity missed.

“Once we score the 1-0, even if we did not score again it was important not to concede,” he said.

Asked how confident he was that Arsenal would still progress to the final in Lyon, he added: “How doesn’t matter. What matters is we go there with absolute belief to do it.”

On Atletico’s stellar home record: “You don’t look at the statistics, you can only look at your own performance and we know we can score from anywhere. What matters is that we go there with the belief to do it.”