BREAKING: Arsenal drawn to face Atletico Madrid in Europa League semifinal

Arsenal will face Atletico Madrid later this month in their first appearance in the Europa League semifinals since 2000.

A 2-2 draw against CSKA Moscow in Russia on Thursday allowed Arsenal to advance 6-2 on aggregate as they seek a return to the Champions League.

Atletico Madrid, the champions in 2010 and 2012, knocked out Sporting Lisbon despite a 1-0 defeat on
Thursday because of a 2-0 victory at the Wanda Metropolitano in the first leg.

Marseille will face Red Bull Salzburg in the other semifinal. Marseille moved on to the semifinals for the first time since 2004 by overturning a 1-0 defeat against RB Leipzig with a 5-2 home victory on Thursday.

Red Bull Salzburg are back in the semifinals for the first time since 1994, when they lost in the final against Inter Milan. After a 4-2 first-leg deficit, they knocked Lazio out of the competition on Thursday with a 4-1 home victory at home.

Diego Simeone's side are currently second in La Liga behind runaway leaders Barcelona.

Speaking after Thursday's match in Moscow, when at one point Arsenal had been a goal away from elimination, manager Arsene Wenger admitted he would prefer to avoid Atletico.

"Looking at all the results as a whole picture in Europe this week, you would say that teams have become closer and the games are very open and everything is possible in every single game," Wenger said.

"Everybody speaks about Atletico Madrid that they look the strongest team on paper, but you must say when you look at the results that Salzburg have done again... I am from France and Marseille are in there as well and that is always a difficult place to go... maybe it is better that I don't wish for anybody."

The first legs will be played on April 26 with the return legs on May 3.


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