Arsene Wenger says he would “ideally” avoid facing Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of the Europa League after they secured their spot with a 6-3 aggregate victory over CSKA Moscow.
The Gunners went two goals behind by the 55th-minute but late goals from Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey made sure they drew 2-2 on the night and spared them a shock exit.
“I feel that maybe we were a bit surprised by the intensity at the start,” Wenger told BT Sport.
“After that we came back. They scored the second, had a chance for the third. It was a good response from us after the break, the first half the distances were too big. At 2-1 we looked good to get to 2-2 and we did.
“We were in trouble in the first half. After moving to a back five we were more stable, didn’t concede as many chances. Their second was from distance, but in the box we didn’t give anything away.
“We have players who can always score and once we got to 2-1 it was a big blow for them and they didn’t recover.”
On reaching a European semi-final, Wenger continued: “It should be every year, never enough, could see in Europe a lot of turnovers, we need to be focused. Let’s prepare well for the next round and see who we get.”
When asked if he wanted to avoid Atletico Madrid in the semi-final draw, Wenger added: Ideally, maybe they are the strongest on paper, but let’s play well against the team we get.”