The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Griezmann pun­ishes Gun­ners with late equaliser



Antoine Griezmann pun­ished Arse­nal’s lax de­fence late on as 10-man Atletico Madrid’s rear­guard ac­tion sal­vaged a draw from the Europa League semi-fi­nal first leg at the Emi­rates.

The vis­i­tors were on the back foot for al­most the en­tire game af­ter de­fender Sime Vrsaljko was dis­missed for two yel­low cards in the first 10 min­utes.

Their de­fence sur­vived un­scathed to half-time with Alexan­dre Lacazette clip­ping the post with a halfvol­ley in the hosts’ best chance.

Lacazette nod­ded in Jack Wilshere’s cross just af­ter the hour to ap­par­ently edge the Gun­ners closer to a Europa League fi­nal send-off for out­go­ing man­ager Arsene Wenger.

But with eight min­utes remaining Griezmann latched onto a long ball for­ward, shrugged off Lau­rent Koscielny and stabbed into the net at the sec­ond at­tempt to swing the mo­men­tum Atletico’s way.

In the other semi­fi­nal tie, for­mer West Ham mid­fielder Dim­itri Payet was the star of the show as Mar­seille de­feated RB Salzburg 2-0 at the Stade Velo­drome.

The French­man set up both goals, with for­mer New­cas­tle winger Flo­rian Thau­vin head­ing in Payet’s 15thminute free kick for his 22nd goal in all com­pe­ti­tions this sea­son.

Ex-Spurs player Clin­ton Njie then drove home from Payet’s pass for the hosts’ sec­ond goal on 63 min­utes mean­ing the French Ligue 1 side takes a com­fort­able lead into the next Thurs­day’s sec­ond leg in Aus­tria.

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